[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] Little Orange Man is Not Only Dreamy but also Delightful

Downtown Activity Center
755 Pandora
Victoria, BC

Sun Aug 28, 4:30pm
Tue Aug 30, 9:45pm
Wed Aug 31, 6:00pm
Fri Sep 2, 8:15pm
Sat Sep 3, 10:30pm

Little Orange Man is one of those shows running the theatre and Fringe circuit for six years now. It’s produced by SNAFU, and has toured far and wide. There’s an undeniable charm where Kitt the Kinder-Whisperer (Ingrid Hansen) is looking for help and gets it from strangers (the audience). She dearly loves her grandfather and that’s all audiences need to know.

Underneath the fast-paced comedy antics that we see, the story that unfolds is lovely and bittersweet. She’s hyperactive and imaginative, just like the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, and she loves the Danish folktales that her Bedstefar (the Danish word for grandfather) tells her. I’m amused by how she manages to turn her lunch into puppets to re-enact those stories, and when she pulls out puppets to play with, that’s when the true narrative takes shape.

She has a desire to connect with the etheric dream-world. The way it is presented is both surreal and lively. If Studio Laika was to ever offer to buy the movie rights and produce a cinematic version, I’m sure what they will make will amp up the haunting quality three-fold. After seeing Kubo and the Two Strings the week before, I recognize elements that make both the film and this show similar.

Just why she needs to visit the Dream realm with the help of Kinders (I assume tiny elves instead of the chocolate) is because she wants to see her grandfather. The experience is nothing like the myth of Orpheus to which I’m sure is where the tone the narrative came from. Had it, I think that would have ruined the poignancy of this show. The innocence expressed by Kitt is heartwarming. Hansen brings a lot of depth in her performance. While the character she plays does not understand the “adult” world at large, we don’t need to go that far. We, as the audience, are there to help her, guide her, and perhaps she’ll understand.

All we need to do is to help make her smile, and that’s all that’s needed.

4½ Blokes out of 5


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