The food at the Fringe has been disappointing so far this year – Funky Pickle’s booth is nowhere to be seen, and the vendors we have visited on site have not been very good. Mack’s mini doughnuts were a little sad, and sweet potato fries from The Punky Potato only resembled its namesake in colour.
As a result, we’ve been hitting up Whyte Ave for sustenance – Fat Franks, and on Wednesday, the take-out window at Origin India. We both had a butter chicken wrap ($8.95, including a can of pop). The naan is, dare I say, the best in the city, and contained within was some rice, red peppers, and saucy butter chicken. Mack was impressed with the ingenious bag it was contained in, to help avoid sauce-on-clothes contact. I wished for some fresh herbs, and maybe some more prominent onion goodness, but as a whole the wrap made for a pretty good quick meal.
Butter Chicken Wrap from Origin India
Having taken the day off, I started off day 7 of the Fringe solo. My first show that day was Unsolicited Mail, portrayed as a love story between a listless man who mails spam for a living and an anonymous phone sex operator. Between the two main actors, Fiona Morris’s low-key, laid-back emotion felt far more genuine; Fred Krysko’s frantic, climactic breakdown seemed forced and over-the-top. And though the message of resounding loneliness in a world dominated by sensational stories and personal distance was relatable ( a world where Krysko’s character worked alongside another person for three years but did not get to know one another), something just didn’t click.
Thankfully, my day would get better – Space, a Panties Production featuring Jocelyn Ahlf (one of my favourites), Belinda Cornish and Mark Meer was light, fun fare that hit the spot. About a trio of women sent to explore the possibility of other life in the galaxy, there were a multitude of hilarious one-liners and the perfect role for Meer to once again steal the show. He played an android with human aspirations not unlike his character in Salon of the Talking Turk, with a mechanical laugh that almost always set the audience off (“my fleshy colleagues”, heh). Kristen Padayas, who I had seen but didn’t stand out in The Addelpated Nixie, was actually quite well-cast, and revelled in her role of the naive crew member. See Space if you’re looking for a non-committal, but entertaining show.
I met up with Mack for our final production of the day – Totem Figures by the one-of-a-kind TJ Dawe. I typically avoid one-person shows because they are so hit-or-miss, but Dawe is the one exception to that rule. On Wednesday, he didn’t disappoint. Totem Figures is Dawe’s bio, a play about the influential figures and myths in his life where he ponders the question – “who would be on your personal Mt. Rushmore?” Artfully written, seemingly unrelated anecdotes were woven together to form a rich tapestry of learning and experience. As always, his delivery – demonstrative of his expertise in manipulating the rhythms of the English language – swathes the audience in that magical feeling only achieved when watching someone very good at their craft. I do hope he returns to next year’s Fringe.
Two more plays to go!