It’s not a secret that the Fringe is my favourite summer festival. The shows, the food, the buskers, the atmosphere – it’s a combination that rightly attracts an incredibly diverse crowd. I really admire what the Fringe is doing to try to build their audience from the ground up, tackling the age-old issue of those who wander the grounds, but never step inside a theatre. From their First Time Fringer discount program, to the variety of Fringe apps that were available this year (built by community members), I would hope that their efforts do translate into more tickets sold, or at the very least, a piqued curiosity that may lead to future ticket sales.
The Fringe should be commended for their green initiatives this year – we watched as Green Team volunteers sorted through the trash for organic material to compost
Mack and I at the Parlour photo booth
I would be lying if I said this Fringe won’t be memorable for a reason entirely unrelated to the festival. That said, I haven’t overlooked the fabulous productions we were fortunate enough to catch during We’ll Show You Ours:
- The Lime Tree Bower still lingers in my memory because it reminded me that the core of theatre is storytelling. Vincent Forcier, Jon Lachlan Stewart and Cody Porter were seamless in their delivery, fully embodying the characters, Irish accents unwavering. I was swept up by the vivid language, rich descriptions that nourished my imagination, transforming the immediate setting of a family-owned pub into a shadowy graveyard, a college auditorium, an inhospitable bar. It was also a great choice to have the characters subtly interact and respond to one another during each of their monologues – it added a laid-back air that made the production such a treat to watch. Moreover, I was happy to be finally be able to see the much-buzzed about Lachlan Stewart in action, who lived up to every expectation.
- There is no one like TJ Dawe. If you haven’t yet watched this master at work, weaving personal experiences into relatable, thought-provoking anecdotes all while demonstrating his incredible skill with the rhythms of the English language – remember his name for next year. While I didn’t take to Lucky 9 as much as last year’s Totem Figures, it’s difficult not to enjoy Dawe, whatever the content.
- The bar was set pretty darn high for BASH’d, with all of the accolades it has received, on top of the fact that the show had a successful off-Broadway run in New York two years ago. It cleared the bar with room to spare. I am still in awe of Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow – not only for their conviction and limitless energy (they barely stopped to breathe over the hour), but also for their ability to compellingly portray the heartbreaking tale of love and tragedy in a single hour.
- We picked David Belke’s The Crimson Yak for its plot mention of Coca Cola (and by golly, they even referred to it as Mack has in the past, as “the nectar of the gods”), but it turned out to be a good choice for a host of other reasons. The songs were as hilarious as they were catchy (“Crimson yaa-aa-aa-k”), and Karyn Mott absolutely stole the show as the wide-eyed, fanatical Dhara.
The Fringe turns thirty next year. You can bet it will be a huge party, just as it should be. See you there!