Reviews

  • The Nether is a delightfully textured piece about catharsis, crime and how to navigate ethics and morality when reality isn’t reality any more. It will make you feel—disgust, temptation, anger, shock, love, sympathy, sadness, horror and pleasure; perhaps all at once—and it will make you think. Is this where we’re headed in our society? What would it mean for what we call our lives? Our identities? Is this “Nether” a blessing or a curse?

    Written by Jennifer Haley, the Vancouver Fringe incarnation of The Nether was produced by Redcurrant Collective, a local company including many faces that will be familiar...

  • Frances Koncan has written a bold exploration of white male power, residential schools and oppression, whether formally institutionalized or directly ingrained in our psyche.

    As we follow our young heroine through time and space, we visit a residential school where children are stripped of everything from their clothing to their dignity and identity; a white man’s 90s basement where he holds indigenous women hostage; and a post-apocalyptic future where men are nothing more than furniture.

    At first the transitions can be hard to follow between the different times and places but if you let go of your...

  • Two for Tea is an all-ages remount of one of the first shows that production company James and Jamesy brought to the Vancouver Fringe Festival. The company comprises the duo, Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles, and their director, David MacMurray Smith.

    Before even entering the theatre it is obvious that James and Jamesy are a Fringe favourite. The ticket-holder line is all the way up the stairs out the building and down the stairs of the back porch, despite it being midday on a Sunday.

    Slapstick comedy isn't my style, but the charm of these two eked a begrudging giggle (OK guffaw) out of...

  • Suburban Motel: Featuring Loretta is an uproarious, racy number with a dark edge. Written by adored and admired George F. Walker in 1997, the ingenuity of Featuring Loretta has been reawakened for Vancouver's annual Fringe Festival. Featuring Loretta stars a young, not so innocent, girl who runs away from her problems in an attempt to gain control of them. She no longer wants other people to make decisions for her. No one can stop her from doing what she wants, even if what she wants is to make porn.

    "I'm not happy…but maybe I could be," determined, unfettered Loretta, played...

  • I managed to misread the synopsis for The Girl Who Was Raised by Wolverine, so I was expecting a dystopian future made bearable for a teenager through the influence of comic books...

    In reality the Wolverine mentioned in the Fringe Program Guide is of First Nations, not Marvel, fame. It is a narrator/trickster/guardian figure that facilitates the action of the plot. Wolverine presents the "case"  to the audience, asking us to decide the characters’ fate at the end. Not a bad premise. It takes audience participation up a notch while allowing the play to stay a drama, and it encourages us to look at the whole experience as a social...

  • Berlin Waltz is a masterful blend of musical storytelling that left echoes in my head and heart for hours after I left the Cultch. I wandered around Vancouver, feeling Weltschmerz (literally ‘world pain’—you even learn some German in the show), pondering the invisible walls within my mind and seeing the outside world with different, more wistful eyes until I entered my next show to be transformed again and again.

    Not only did this piece give me some insight into Berlin’s amazing history and the “admirable theory and questionable practice of socialism,” but it also made me want to travel. And...

  • “It doesn't remember who liked it... who didn't like it... it just remembers that it was”

    Aux.La.More is an intimate storytelling and dance performance by Kara Nolte – and she has such a presence on stage. The way she tells her story and explains the way dance has allowed her to express herself is disarming and at the same time very comfortable.

    I found myself wrapped up in the way she moved and tumbled and was marionetted on the dance floor – the way her suit jacket trailed behind her. She'd dance to a piece of music, and then she'd...

  • The show is written and performed by Megan Phillips and directed by TJ Dawe. Megan Phillips is a performer from Vancouver, BC, Canada. The story is based on her Vipassana 10-day silent meditation experience. It is a one woman performance, a true story of change, personal growth, forgiveness and becoming “enough”.

    Not Enough is a story of a young woman who’s reached a crisis point in her life and career, who needs change and growth. She tells the story of her transformation from a shallow, ill-focused individual who creates chaos around her, which is frustrating to friends, family, workmates and,...

  • From all of the plays I have attended, I would definitely give The Dance Teacher first place in being the most emotionally intense.

    The story is about a dance teacher, Justin, who was put in jail for sexual assault of his boy students. We learn during the play that he, in his turn, was assaulted and abused by his former teacher when he was young boy and he was left by his mother at the age of 15. Or was he? Everything that Justin tells us is put under question. We learn that he is the biggest manipulator and that...

  • Leaving the auditorium after Nerdfucker, I felt like a defiant teenager. I found the performance charming and heart wrenching. I was rooting vehemently for the main character by the end of the play, and was ready to rush out and tell all my friends to see this great show! 

    But after the audience’s enthusiastic applause was shushed into silence by Cameryn Moore’s insistence that we tell everyone we know about the show because this play deserves a bigger audience than it had (at 7:30 on opening Thursday), I was left feeling like my appreciation was underappreciated. My experience of the past hour...

Pages