Reviews

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • A farce, acted out by two men, as travelling players. Beginning in darkness with whispers about an accidental murder of an audience member during last night’s show, you are greeted with gusto and enthusiasm. Perpetual Wednesday is a wonderfully funny and energetic show. Presented by White Collar Crimes, this hilarious and absurd tale is going to have your cheeks aching from laughter.

    As my second show at the Fringe I walked in having no idea about what to expect; all I had to go on was something about a murdered audience member. Within the first five minutes my cheeks were...

  • 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,...

  • “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...

  • First off, I'll say I liked the first half of the performance a lot more than the second half. But I liked the first half a lot. A wacky troupe of clowns take on WWII while tripping over one another, deflowering mops, and attempting cannibalism. It was very classic slapstick clown comedy, with trashy hobo-esque clowns clattering into each other, attempting to eat their fallen friends, casually murdering one another and taking obscenely loud squelching steps with wet socks. I loved the choreography and how much they tumbled around the stage like sad kittens in a drier. I also really...

  • 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...

  • Jeff Leard is relatively new to the relatively long tradition of high-energy, fast-talking one-man Fringe shows. He's deservedly getting great reviews – lots of four or five stars and a “best of fest” award too.

    This one, The Jupiter Rebellion: A Zach Zultana Adventure, opens in 2193, some 150 years in the future. Our hero, Zach Zultana, is a geominer out in space. His working conditions are not so good and after the Big Boss turns on him, things get much worse, for him and for his co-workers.

    He's demoted to custodial staff but winds up being a force for...

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