We are taught that it is dangerous to judge books by their covers, and often for good reason. What a thrill for your heart to slip into something incredibly magical- especially when that voyage is completely unexpected! The entire concept of Fringe Theatre is to embrace the danger, for writers and performers to have the opportunity to take giant risks and leaps of faith and for audiences to fly by the seats of their pants swinging between the shameful and the sublime like a pendulum. I urge you all to launch yourselves like whirling dervishes into the theatrical fray with reckless abandon- to see shows simply because they are happening with zero expectation- to choose plays based on spinning blindfolded and pointing, playing pin the theatre ticket on the donkey or simply hanging around a Fringe venue and refusing to leave. I encourage you all to see as much theatre as is humanly possible, to think critically and dramaturgically about everything you see and to engage one another in constant discussion, to share your opinions and perceptions and to fight for the right to an Alexander Keith’s Beer Tent.
However, if you’d like my informed, but also wildly presumptuous, opinion about which Atlantic Fringe Shows I wouldn’t miss if *I* were you, here they are (in no particular order):
1. NAKED by Lisa Rose Snow.
Comedy; Mature Audiences Only; 20 minutes; Tickets $5
Presented by Forerunner Playwrights Theatre
Directed by Richie Wilcox
Naked is a twenty minute, two-person dark comedy set in a bathroom. Mary (Natasha MacLellan), a cleaning lady, steps into a bathroom and finds Vanessa (Lisa Rose Snow) naked in the tub. Neither her friend, her pal nor her employer, the two women nonetheless have a very established relationship. Despite Mary’s insistence, Vanessa refuses to get out of the tub and a battle ensues. Naked will make you laugh, think and maybe even cry.
(11 performances) Schedule: 2315 Hunter Street
Plutonium Playhouse @ 7:50 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 6:50 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 7:20 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 9:30 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 7:20 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 10:10 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 10:00 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 5:10 PM and @ 9:00PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 5:30 PM
2. BITCHES by Cheryl Hann and Tara Thorne
Comedy; Mature Audiences Only; 40 minutes; Tickets $5
Bitches by Cheryl Hann & Tara Thorne is a barrage of character monologues that depict a group of women we promise you’ll hate.
The monologues, performed by Picnicface’s
Cheryl Hann, are guaranteed to make you laugh, while occasionally turning to your friend to whisper “What a biiiitch!”
(6 performances) Schedule: 2315 Hunter Street
Plutonium Playhouse @ 8:00 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 5:10 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 8:30 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 6:50 PM
Plutonium Playhouse @ 8:10 PM
3. VANISHING TWINS by Dan Bray
Drama; Parental Guidance; 70 minutes; Tickets $6
Drawing on autobiography and classical mythology, Vanishing Twins is a new Greek tragedy about the unpredictability of life and the effect of terminal disease on a young family.
Castor and Pollux, the Gemini twins, are re-imagined as brothers born under mysterious circumstances, one of whom is blessed with immortality, while the other struggles repeatedly with cancer. Vanishing Twins explores the Gemini’s family as they attempt to understand not only the boys, their disease, and the constellation they left behind, but their own choices and the delicate relationships they have to one another.
Vanishing Twins is written and directed by Dan Bray, and was workshopped with the help of Governor-General award-winning playwright Guillermo Verdecchia and CanStage dramaturge Iris Turcott in 2009.
(4 performances) Schedule: 2203 Gottingen Street
The Bus Stop Theatre @ 6:20 PM
The Bus Stop Theatre @ 4:40 PM
The Bus Stop Theatre @ 6:50 PM
The Bus Stop Theatre @ 2:00 PM
4. DYING HARD Written and Compiled by Elliott Leyton. Adapted for the stage by Mikaela Dyke
Drama; Parental Guidance; 60 minutes; Tickets $10
A powerful exploration of the plight of fluorspar miners in Newfoundland in the 1960’s. One actress performs, verbatim, archived interviews of those courageous men and women enduring the devastation of their bodies and their community. Dying Hard sheds light on the human struggle to survive the ravages of industrial carnage.
“Verbatim theatre at its finest. True, tragic stories in a premiere performance that must be seen.” – Theatre in London
Winner 2010 London Fringe for Outstanding Performance
Winner 2010 London Beat Magazine for Best Female Performance
(8 performances) Schedule: 2053 Gottingen Street
Cooke’s Theatre @ 9:40 PM
Cooke’s Theatre @ 3:30 PM
Cooke’s Theatre @ 7:40 PM
Cooke’s Theatre @ 6:50 PM
Cooke’s Theatre @ 7:20 PM
Cooke’s Theatre @ 7:00 PM
Cooke’s Theatre @ 7:50 PM
Cooke’s Theatre @ 6:30 PM
5. archy and mehitabel by Jeff Culbert based on the works of Don Marquis
Comedy; For All Ages; 55 minutes; Tickets $8
Archy is a cockroach and Mehitabel is an alley cat, and they are joined onstage by a host of minor animal characters who offer very fresh perspectives from their places on the food chain.
Archy was a human poet in his previous life, but as a cockroach, he “sees things from the underside now”. He makes it his mission in life to change the relationship between insects and humanity, becoming a liaison, a reformer, and finally a revolutionary.
His counterpart Mehitabel just wants to keep the good times rolling. She lives her life as a bohemian, an aristocrat and an artist, and her mottos are “Toujours gai” and “There’s one more dance in the old dame yet”.
***** “wonderful clarity and style” – Winnipeg Free Press
#1 show of the Montreal Fringe – Montreal Gazette
“A pure delight” – Ottawa Citizen
“vivid and unforgettable” – CBC Manitoba
“laugh out loud hilarious” – Uptown Magazine
(8 performances) Schedule: 1588 Barrington Street
Khyber Institute of Contemporary Arts @ 9:00 PM
Khyber Institute of Contemporary Arts @ 7:00 PM
Khyber Institute of Contemporary Arts @ 3:50 PM
Khyber Institute of Contemporary Arts @ 6:30 PM
Khyber Institute of Contemporary Arts @ 9:40 PM
Khyber Institute of Contemporary Arts @ 9:50 PM
Khyber Institute of Contemporary Arts @ 9:30 PM
Khyber Institute of Contemporary Arts @ 5:10 PM
Beat the Heat. Go Play.