Runs Aug 27 to Sept 22, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada at various venues
Victoria, BC’s Annual Fringe Theatre Festival is not only a terrific way to cap off the summer but also it’s a place to watch performers simply experiment with new ideas. In those that are runaway successes, they will return to stage as regular shows.
I have been attending the events for close to a decade now, and have seen a huge gambit. I naturally gravitate towards comedy, musicals and anything nerdy. However, I do not limit myself to them either. In those that I have seen outside my favourites, they are surprising. Of course, I never tire of the endless bounty of delights. The limitation is only with the imagination, and the journey to the Twilight Zone.
The following are my picks of this season. Please visit http://intrepidtheatre.com/festivals/fringe-festival for showtimes and to buy tickets.
Tickets available via www.thecastle.ca
or call 250-592-5323 to book
October 17, 18, 19, 24,
25, 26, 30, 31 at 8:00pm
October 20, 21, 27, 28
at 7:00pm and 9:00pm
With Performances by:
David Radford, Christina Patterson, Jared Gowen, Trevor Hinton, Diana Nielsen
When mid-October arrives, the Halloween season is in full swing and the terror can arrive in many a form. This week has Red Death & Other Stories From Edgar Allen Poe (Launch Pad Theatre) and Rocky Horror Show (Atomic Vaudeville) opening for residents of Victoria, BC to enjoy. Those unable to get a ticket for the former (it’s nearly sold out) can wait for next year. The latter will always be around because it’s become a staple ever since it debuted on stage with thanks to Kaleidoscope Theatre.
Pardoning the cliché, to experience Poe’s works performed on a dark and stormy night at Craigdarroch Castle is a must. I’ve been a fan of interactive theater for a long time, and to choose between which show to go to get my pre-Halloween funk on was tough. Audiences either get to be part of the show or they are watching it with a slight wall between realities. With this season, the veil is best broken at the edifice upon a hill.
A break will soon be coming as I have done two shows a day since the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival has started. Even fans of experimental theatre needs to rest before embarking on another round and I’m really looking forward to seeing Wes Borg‘s Get Me The F*CK out of Edmonton and St Michael’s University School’s Musical Theatre show Drowsy Chaperone at the end of the week.
Though for Monday night, I had to satisfy the literary nerd in me. FUNNER from Sunday night was just too unusual, and I needed a proper Shakespeare Fix, to which yesterday’s two shows fully succeeded in entertaining. The day also made me feel like I visited the worlds of several master storytellers than one:
The Roxy Theatre (Venue 7)
2657 Quadra St
Yes, I’m going on a theme this year – to attend all the shows at a venue when they are back to back and when they fall into the category of horror, science fiction, mythology, supernatural or fantasy. The umbrella term is speculative and it covers the gambit to which I enjoy the most. I am generally up to date on in the world of popular culture. On day two, I was hanging out at some old haunts: the Roxy Theatre. I lived in the area during my childhood years, and always have fond memories of what was then when compared to now. Last night started “A Little Bit Zombie“-ish.
The Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival is celebrating its 31st year, and it has no signs of slowing down. The diversity each year offers is unique. Some are better than others given the type of shows I like to see, and I am surprised at the number of speculative type shows have not dwindled. I begin my coverage with one show which is a parody of a staple tourist attraction that most locals are familiar with:
Downtown Activity Center
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.