[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] There’s Plenty of Bananas with Bushel and Peck

Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra Street
Victoria, BC

Fri Sept 2 – 5:00pm
Sat Sept 3 – 10:15pm
Sun Sept 4 – 5:45pm

For future shows, please visit stephaniemorinrobert.com for updates.

Bushel and Peck is definitely a Fringe Theatre original; there’s no easy way to classify what this show is largely about and it is a very experimental product. There’s absurdist comedy, dance choreography, experiments with light and pantomime. Neither dominates and there’s a great set piece involving a balloon. Other props used include blow dryers and a sheet of plywood. Just how it works shows how well two diverse talents — Alastair Knowles (James & Jamesy) and Stéphanie Morin-Robert (Blindside, For Body and Light) — are comfortable together on stage. Both are highly regarded Canadian performers. When considering they are in a relationship, just what this show reveals is how close they have become to observers — the audience. Each of them come from a specific type of arts, Stephanie in dance and Alastair from clown school.

Together, especially on stage, they have an undeniable chemistry that’s to be adored.

One set piece I particularly loved is in how they get romantic with a lightbulb. It provides the only source of light for this show. There were times it was too bright, but my eyes eventually adjusted. When it transforms to representing a blocked out candlelight on a table, I was better able to watch the antics going on. Knowles read from a book like Lord Byron to his adoring girlfriend. But she has other things in her mind, and the table floats around like it is possessed by a ghost. These two are playful kitties sometimes at odds with each other and at other times too cute for words when interacting under “one” shirt.

There’s no real plot for this show. Audiences are here to react to these individuals who sometimes behave rather like Illumination Entertainment‘s Minions. Upon hearing this comparison in some of the ads for this production, I had to check out this show. With this program, fortunately everyone is able to understand their gobblygook and can enjoy their tomfoolery on stage.

4 Blokes out of 5


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