Review by Mark Dance
60 mins | Comedy, Solo Show | Mature
From a kilted private school nerd with saliva-control issues to a grumbling geezer on his deathbed, the world of Fishbowl is populated by absurd and gut-busting personalities. Mark Shyzer takes on four distinct characters and, although they momentarily feel like a gang of shallow sketch characters, he [...]
Review by Mark Dance
Hard Times is a solo performance featuring the early 1900’s style of Vaudeville theatre. In history, the genre past it’s heyday in the 1930’s during the Great Depression when film and radio began to gain popularity. This performance pays homage to this event by depicting the final act of what would be a Vaudeville play, referred to as the Chaser. The act was performed as a monologue with various intermittent songs sung by Bremner Duthie. His character grieved the end of the play and of theatre in general in the “hard times” of a society going through a socioeconomic transition, in which the arts is one of the first to go.
It’s a daunting task to tell such a familiar, tragic, story, especially when much of the audience in Ottawa is likely to know it well (it’s worth mentioning that you need not know any of the background to fully understand the show). White Noise manages to do it in an interesting, respectful manner. Please don’t let the subject matter keep you away. It’s a great show, perfect for rounding out your Fringe calendar.
To put it simply, Fallen is fantastically fun. Told as an allegory of the fall of Lucifer, the play takes on the form of a mafia film noir, with a twist. With a large cast, lots of props and fantastic outfits, this production is certain to keep the audience entertained. It is unashamedly over the top, and while it could use a little bit of polishing in some areas, the overall result is a fantastic mix of comedy and song. Yes, there are two musical numbers in this play and they’re a blast. If you have an affinity for Seal or Coolio, it’s worth checking out this show.
The play is at times both funny and heartbreaking, with many challenging scenes, and the Senior Acting Company step up to the plate with passion. This is an amateur company of young actors, and it is delightful to see them up there showcasing their talents, and getting that special tingly thrill that only live theatre can provide. You know the one.
This Is Today is a series of tender and intimate vignettes that depict moments in the lives of women. From discussions of sexual dysfunction over yoga, to the aftermath of a night of binge drinking, the play deals with some tough themes in a loose and unassuming way.
Although Dead Wrong, Megan Shepard, and Jabari Woods are fictional, the situation isn’t. Minneapolis performer/creator Katherine Glover drew the inspiration and the details for this first-person account of a dual search for justice from her experiences as a journalist. She was deeply affected by an interview she did with a woman in a nearly identical situation. This interview and a later story she covered on a similar situation led her to research a multitude of cases of unintentional false accusation; Dead Wrong is the culmination and distillation of that research.
Gametes and Gonads features a dysfunctional millions-strong army of sperm gearing up to take on the monthly sacrificial ovum. At times a little over-the-top and overacted, this play might annoy those who don’t like comedy that is silly and fast-paced. However, Jeff Leard, a recent Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate from the University of Victoria, successfully delivers the physical gags, puns and entendres expected from a play that is set inside the reproductive organs of two unwitting, unnamed lovers.