ROY & JANET - VAN FRINGE 2018
Roy & Janet is produced by Theatre Terrific, which is a company that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. It is playing at the Woodward’s Atrium in downtown Vancouver. Roy & Janet is reminiscent of the plot of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and has a message of love from mother earth mixed in.
This performance definitely utilizes the Woodward’s Atrium to it’s full advantage. The performance incorporates abstract props, staccato music, movement formations and dance to reveal a deep and beautiful message of love, hope, and confidence. The performers are multi-abled and truly beautiful to witness. This performance will make you feel warm and fuzzy and that anything is possible!
Roy & Janet by Theatre Terrific is playing at the Woodwards Atrium 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Selene Dublanko
Training of the Shrew by 1001 Steps Theatre Society is a cute concept that misses the mark. It adapts Shakespeare’s play Taming of the Shrew with a spin — instead of the Shrew not being marriageable, she’s not coachable (in this adaption she’s a violent, quick-tempered boxer). The use of boxing as the basis of the play certainly adds comedic elements to the performance, especially in terms of physical humour which the actors are all really good at. However, where the play is weakest is in its faithfulness to the source material. Some of the elements, like the sister not being able to marry until Kate, the Shrew, has a coach don’t make much sense in this context.
The play also suffers from its location at the Picnic Pavilion at Granville Island. The boxing ring setup is certainly a cool idea, however with many of the actors rolling around on the floor, the audience members at the back can’t see what is going on. It’s also outside with no heating so on cold rainy days it gets quite chilly.
In the end, though, I will say the cast have a lot of energy and they have good comedic timing which does lend for an enjoyable performance. If you decide to go see it, my advice would be to sit in the front and make sure to bring a coat!
Training of the Shrew by 1001 Steps Theatre Society is playing at the Picnic Pavilion 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Jenna Masuhara
WASTELANDS - VAN FRINGE 2018
Wastelands is the story of the last human on Earth, Hero, and her last 3 years in “plastic purgatory” otherwise known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The performance begins with a tragedy, one which only seems to really matter to Hero, but we are brought along to help find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Hero introduces her collection of garbage puppets, Wilsonesque (Castaway) creations of hers, who act as treasurer, secretary, Vice President, and the chair of recreation committee. With these creations and a plethora of swear words she tells us about how they ended up on the island and why it’s pointless to try to leave.
Highlights of the show include the acid rain, national anthem, and the wonderful puppetry that brings the other 4 characters to life. Savanna Harvey builds a fantastical world for us and while the story is often funny it is unexpectedly sorrowful, frustrating, and intense. The work Harvey did with puppeteer coach Lindsey Zess allows the 4 puppets to become unquestionable characters with their own personalities and opinions on the situation as it unfolds.
The venue presented its own unique challenges as bring your own venue stages often do. Positioned in a parking lot Harvey is at the whim of the weather, people cutting through the alley, business sounds and the Fringe Bar down the road. She did not let any of that distract her though and should be applauded for making the best out of a tough spot. It should be noted that the provided seating is garbage themed and as such not particularly comfortable. There are chairs in the back for those with mobility challenges. The venue accommodates about 30 people, so it’s a very intimate experience. Lighting is particularly tough in this area as early evening showings take you from dusk to night. Harvey has positioned bare bulbs around for light. Although thematically appropriate, they are tough on the eyes.
Finding your check in spot and venue is a bit tricky so the instructions are in my video. Check in occurs at the BYOV c tent on the north side of Cartwright St.
Wastelands by Pretentious Productions is playing in the Micon Parking Lot 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Brieanna Fiander
FIX - VAN FRINGE 2018
FIX tells the troubling stories of 7 individuals across generations affected by addiction, in such a beautiful way that their content is a startling contrast to their delivery which makes these stories very compelling. The alley setting allows the audience to literally travel a journey along with the performers and explore their wounds, their fix and the subsequent result, not necessarily in that order.
Some performers are better than others, and some stories more relatable than others however it's clear that the overwhelming need to numb is consistent and real as are these people. Eye opening and edgy, these performers should be commended for displaying their scars in an effort to encourage understanding.
FIX by The Elegant Ladies Collective is playing on site in Railspur Alley as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Karen Roller
Overcome Stage Fright and find confidence in your unique voice.