Sometimes, a venue can make or break a show. When the performance is all about beer, the Victoria Event Center is perfect. They are a licensed alcohol facility and cheering more than a mug is encouraged. I had root beer instead of the other kind. When it played at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival last month, the buzz certainly had me deciding to go check it out.
I had to stay sober tho’, as I know my limits (namely I was driving). This show next moved to the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and now the company, Wish Experience, is taking a break. I’m sure this team will be back for the next round of Fringe shows. Even though this show began in 2016, I see it could use further polishing.
The charming Trish Parry and gonzo William Glenn do know the origins of this drink. I had to spend weeks thereafter to confirm everything I learned from them. Apologies for the late review, but I like to make sure what they were saying are indeed accurate. The lesson is very good. As for their passion, it only works if everyone gets in on the act.
They were certainly very enthusiastic on stage. I really had to wonder if they were actually drinking on the job. It probably did not matter, as the drunker they were, the hilarity would scale up. The show is more like a celebration than a journey on the starship they’re on. The loose plot which drives the show is powered by beer, of course, and it feels like it was taken from Legends of Tomorrow and the original Peabody’s Improbable History (aka Dreamworks Mr. Peabody and Sherman) than Magic School Bus.
Little details connecting beer with certain sagas, namely the Finnish epic Kalevala was welcomed. I am not sure if the deets of women as the patron saints (sellers) of the drink are real. While I love the attention to Egypt as where beer first came from, I had wondered if they intentionally ignored what the Vikings loved to drink, mead (which is more of a wine variant).
The Star Trek vibe felt a bit unusual. It was not fully played up and more could have been done with it, especially when Scotty had troubles putting a Klingon under the table. While the pop culture references to give this journey a nerdy appeal was cute, I thought it was ultimately unneeded. The time travel schtick is tricky to handle in a theatre environment. Perhaps a phone booth was needed. One key thing that would have earned a plus is in simply turning the cockpit around so audiences can see them than their behinds when traveling back in time.
3 Blokes out of 5