Enjoying The 2017 Victoria Fringe Festival at the Roxy

The Roxy Theatre (Venue 7)
2657 Quadra St
Victoria, BC

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.

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Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival 2017 Kicks Off with Haunting Delights

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:

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[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] Little Orange Man is Not Only Dreamy but also Delightful

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Downtown Activity Center
755 Pandora
Victoria, BC

SHOWTIMES:
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.

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[Victoria Fringe Festival ’15] What’s the Best Meal You Ever Ate? A Review

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LOCATION:
Congregation Emanu-El
1461 Blanshard Street
Victoria, BC

SHOWTIMES:
Sept 1 | 7:00 pm
Sept 2 | 7:00 pm
Sept 3 | 7:00 pm
Sept 6 | 2:00 pm

DURATION:
50 minutes

I should never go to a Victoria Fringe Festival show about high cuisine on a half-filled stomach. I thought the hamburger I had before The Best Meal You Ever Ate would be enough but I was wrong. Set in the backdrop of World War II, the story does a fine job in highlighting the plight of the Jews in Warsaw and in serving some great philosophical moments while delightful food was being served.

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[Victoria Fringe Festival ’15] Why Don’t You Stay Awhile at Casino Royale? A Review

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LOCATION:
St Andrew’s Gymnasium
1002 Pandora
Victoria , BC

SHOWTIMES:
Sept 2 | 5:45 pm
Sept 5 | 10:30 pm
Sept 6 | 3:00 pm

DURATION:
54 minutes

No fan of Ian Fleming’s work will want to escape from Casino Royale lest James Bond strips him or her cash bare. This story by Ian Fleming is what launched a franchise and this play directed by Ian Case (a very respected theatre veteran in Victoria, BC) and written by David Elendune (who is equally getting renown) did a great job in pacing out a story that works very well on stage. Usually cold war dramas are tough to manage in a medium outside of film, and for Bond … James Bond, the early works certainly looks very adaptable. His adventures were told in comic strips before. On stage, at the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival, experimentation is highly encouraged!

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[Victoria Fringe Festival ’15] Haunting the Stage with Hitodama, A Review

hitodramaLOCATION:
The Roxy Theatre
2657 Quadra Street
Victoria, BC

SHOWTIMES:
Aug 31 | 7:45 pm
Sept 2 | 7:45 pm
Sept 5 | 3:45 pm
Sept 6 | 8:45 pm

DURATION: 60 minutes

If you love scary campfire ghost stories told in the vein of Tales of the Crypt, then Hitodama is one fun play to see. This title is also the Japanese name of what Westerners know as Will-o’-the-wisps and they are far more sentient. This production from Mochinosha (also known as The Wishes Mystical Puppet Company) will certainly show how well versed the producers are in the lore from the land of the rising sun. They also performed the raunchy show Oni at last year’s Fringe using the same techniques as before. They use paper cut-outs to create shadows on a silver screen and this style is very àpropos when considering how the supernatural is often perceived. As an avid paranormal enthusiast, I wanted to see this show as fast as humanly possible. But even on premiere night, which was last Friday, the only way I could have made it is if I had a doppelgänger. As long as it was psychically connected to me, my third eye would know all.

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