Fan Tan Alley
(Fringe Site D)
539 Fisgard Street
Please check Intrepid Theatre’s show listings here. Three shows a night.
The scents of the nearby restaurants during a very DIY Fringe show, Trophy Hunt, certainly made me go on an expedition (for food) afterwards. In what’s unique about this performance is that it offers to local talents a chance to interpret Trina Davies dialogue and broadcast the ideas in new creative ways. This Vancouver, BC based playwright is best known for Shatter, Multi User Dungeon and The Bone Bridge.
Here, Parker (Geneviève Doyon), Jan (David Radford), and Soraya (Christina Patterson) talk about the thrill of the hunt and the reasons for why they embark on this ritual in a point of view that few understand. This show does not endorse these safaris. It does, however, delve into all those questions people ask to others who enjoy hunting. Is it really a crime? What makes being a predator so special? Is it some endorphin which gives the stalker some sense of perverted pleasure? Or is there something else?
Parker’s story mirrors the incident back in 2015 about the death of Cecil the Lion. The outcry had the guy go into hiding, and he was the hunted. Doyon conveys a perfect sense of paranoia which the real life individual most likely developed since activists were just as much out for his head.
Jan speaks as the anguished expert hunter/marksmen who serves as a guide to those first-timers wanting that thrill of chasing down big game. When they can’t make the skull-crushing shot, it’s up to him to put down the beast. He anguishes over how he can’t put up with this crap anymore. This hunter respects the beast. I feel Radford is drawing from Kraven the Hunter from the Spider-Man comics as his inspiration. He respects the beast far more than the man who thinks killing for sport is fun.
Last, if not least, is Soraya, the socialite who finds her prey in the urban jungle. Patterson is just perfect in the role given her statuesque form. In character, she realizes those who stalk the innocent deserve more than being put in jail. If I was to compare her to an Egyptian Goddess, Sekhmet and her role in the Destruction of Mankind (which immediately popped into my head), she is a dangerous cat! This visualization is especially true with how this show closed with everyone wearing the panther’s mask.
This show is more than just a dramatic social commentary. The satire was light and I believe it’s a very philosophical look at what we represent as the most dangerous species on Earth. As a Fringe show, it allows anyone interested in spreading Davie’s message without being constrained to one person’s vision. I’m sure my reading of the show comes through as unique given how well I know world mythology.
The space tucked away in Fan Tan Alley in Victoria, BC’s Chinatown is perfect to convey the atmosphere. I recommend seeing this at dusk or at night instead of a daylight. It allows for different ambience; the shadows are used to great effect to suggest other forces are in our midst altering our primal instincts. Yes, this includes those seagulls or other amusing neighbouring noises (or scents) which can interrupt the show. In my case, it was to track down ground up bovine for a late-night snack. Mmmm, hamburgers.
To find your local version, please check out Fringe Festival listings at Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Victoria (where it’s at now) and Vancouver. For more reviews from the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival show, please visit our sister site at otakunoculture.com