Amazing things are happening at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival. More touring acts are starting (Tues night offered a quick preview at The Metro Studio), and if Death from Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal is waiting on the wings, I doubt he’d want to hang out with comedian Rob Gee. This figure would fall apart in laughter. I digress. The rhythms from this slam poet and the fact he can keep it up for close to an hour is simply amazing in itself.
VCM Wood Hall
900 Johnson Street
Aug 30 8pm
Aug 31 7:30pm
Sept 1 10:45pm
Sept 2 8:15pm
Death, a Romantic Comedy certainly positions Rob Gee as a tour de force! His past work, Kevin, King of Egypt and Pandemonium, are gonzo. This year’s Death, A Romantic Comedy is intriguing enough and I wonder if my appreciation of gallows humour is why I’m drawn to such a morbid subject.
For part of this performer’s life, he works in psychiatry most likely led him to meet many quirky personalities. Perhaps he drew inspiration from a few. His tale about drinking, death, falling in love and a missing pacemaker certainly had me trying to pay careful attention. His narrative hits many turns, and I was lost. Thankfully, the Maguffin helped focus the tale. The morgue scene in the early part of the act is my favourite. One character, Ozzy, only had me howling and wanting to scream, “All Aboard!”
This crazy train ride was wonderful. I’m sure this talent will take this show to many Fringe shows, and if the turnout at other venues is like what I experienced, selling out fast, an added tip is to buy in advance instead of at the door.
4 Blokes out of 5
Shows run from Aug 29th to Sept 2nd:
Please visit Intrepid Theatre’s website for a full list.
Fake Ghost Tours 2: Tour Fast Tour Furious is far more entertaining than the first iteration not only because of a wonderfully injected bit of commentary (Yes, Shawn, I share your view in what Victoria, BC’s Chinatown has become) into the act but also the concept feels much more polished. This year, brothers Shawn O’Hara and Abdul Aziz trace their genealogy and take shots at guessing where they came from. Are they related to Dick Chang?
The first five minutes recap their childhood years and their reasons on why they became paranormal investigators, and the rest of the time is them exploring a city block and perhaps their connection with this peculiar past.
The parts of this act which I enjoyed incorporated the fact Fan Tan Alley is haunted (for different reasons than the one they describe) and I have to wonder if their reference to the hotel above Monty’s is an allusion to the real-life Murder Castle (sic H. H. Holmes). It seems like this year, they did research into Canadian hauntings and folklore to make this tour not as wildly ludicrous (hence this play’s name). I can believe in getting communication from the other side with a particular pay phone or the fact one favourite landmark will never get forgotten. But the bigger question, will Victoria’s own Mothman ever appear?
I doubt this team will want to include a third person in their act. I would love to see a psychic join them and we all make jokes at his or her expense—but that’s more of an expansion idea. In an interview with Janis LaCouvee, they mentioned their act has been optioned by JFL Digital. A web series is in development!
Plus, I don’t see them competing with the Ghost Story Guys. A similar style of camaraderie exists. The jocular nature in their presentation makes both products stand out. As my own paranormal exploration as a journalist investigator continues, my own style is more scholarly. As much of this week’s event is taking place at the height of Hungry Ghost Month, I’m anxiously waiting for a real ghost to pop out of Chinatown to add to the shenanigans.
4 Blokes out of 5