The consumption of beer can make people sloppy and silly and so it is fitting that this show simulates that experience. Although this is an organized chaos. One minute the performers are running higgledipiggledly through the audience waving their arms in the air making silly noises, the next they are magically back on stage in time for the right lighting or sound cue, in the right spot with perfect timing on their next line. Yes, this show is VERY relaxed, very casual, taking itself not even a teeny tiny bit seriously, but at the same time the audience is always safe, we are always on track and, although they might not want us to feel that way, these performers do know exactly what they are doing.
Part history lecture, part silly sketch comedy, part 6 year old's birthday party (except with alcohol), A Brief History of Beer by Wish Experience is exactly what is says on the can. The information is interesting, but handed out in tidbits, giving us a surface level overview of the big picture history of beer. I would have loved to have dived deeper into each time period, learned personal stories and more historical details, but then we'd be there for hours. There are other "beer shows" that focus on specific countries and time periods, so perhaps if I'm lucky they'll return to the Fringe with one of those. PS if you're a star trek fan as well as a beer fan, you'll enjoy this all the more.
~ reviewed by Danielle Benzon
I also forgot to mention that the big part of the show is he's a clown, the way he moves, and acts, it's very much like a clown. But instead of a red nose, or any nose, he wears a red suit, which is how he makes a distinction between the two characters he embodies, by taking off the hood or taking off part of the red suit. It's also a unique way of presenting clowning and the 2 characters. It's my favourite thing about the costume.
Red Bastard: Lie with Me is playing 6 - 16 September at Performance Works as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Michelle WIlliams
What do you get when you cross 2 fashionable women, a Supperware party, and the Dark Lord? You get a hilarious Fringe performance called Jan & Peg’s Ritual Sacrifice. Val Duncan and Celene Harder slay as Jan and Peg, two polite and totally unassuming women from Wisconsin who want to sell you some containers to seal in the freshness of your jello salad, and figure out which one of us in the audience would most appease their master in a sacrifice.
Working together since 2012, these two performers have mastered quick and playful banter, Gilmore Girls writers would be jealous. I think a smaller venue would have been better for these two as I enjoyed the smaller crowd that were there and Jan and Peg did such a great job of making us feel at home in their living room.
The evening unfolds beautifully starting with some friendly sales and moving into the main event of the night, popping our proverbial ritual sacrifice cherries. In the end, you might just get to meet the man himself, and he is not what you would expect.
Jan & Peg’s Ritual Sacrifice is playing at Performance Works 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Brieanna Fiander
If you are looking for a poetic and nostalgic look at Vaudeville theatre, Charlie Petch has created a show that will take you both on stage and backstage of the Vagabond Theatre. This show is reminiscent of a time when theatre was the mainstay of entertainment and acts could be polished and tight or weird and wonderful.
Mel Malarkey interacts with the audience pulling them in, teasing them and enjoying their reactions. This is a performer you can have fun with. Tell me what you think of the unusual instrumentation.
Mel Malarkey Gets the Bum's Rush is playing at Performance Works 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Melody Owen
Weirdo is pretty much what the name is and so much more, it is magic, a weird magician and a weird time. Robbie T. wins you over with his weirdness and quirks, and overall funny story of his magic skills, growing up and social situations. The fanfare of glitter and quick pause to make sure you got the joke or trick is a great add to keep your audience laughing and wanting more. Robbie T. interacts with audience members, getting them to get out of their seats and embrace their weirdness, while also messing the audience feel safer with his weirdness, letting you know that if your up on stage with him, nothing can go wrong and if it does, comedy!
Weirdo by Robbie T Subiaco is playing at Performance Works 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Michelle Williams
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The F Words is a one-woman show by written and performed Yvette Dudley-Neuman, and directed by Maureen Robinson. This show contains some sexual content.
The F Words examines themes of aging and obesity and a sense of worthlessness, from a female perspective, in modern times. It is an auto-biographical piece that traces Dudley-Neuman’s experiences of shame, from her tween years into her 40s. These experiences take up most of the show, but in the final act, we also see her overcome some of her fears and challenges to embrace new adventures and self-concepts.
Dudley-Neuman must be applauded for what is probably the most creative set piece I have ever seen at any Fringe show, the goddess curtains, and they are inspiringly used. I only wished that they had been more front and centre.
Surprisingly, there are a few musical numbers in this show. Dudley-Neuman has a wonderful voice, and the songs are the strongest aspects of the piece, showcasing not only her vocal talent, but also the wit and cleverness of the writing.
Unfortunately, despite some great writing and wonderful moments, this show suffers from significant structural issues. It is far too long at 75 minutes, with too many unnecessary characters, anecdotes, and time jumps. I was often confused about where and when we were, and which character was speaking. Although I loved the goddess parts, the grandmother who introduces them could have been cut altogether, until her amazing and hilarious sex lesson in the final act.
The F Words has the makings of a great show, and speaks to a group that is grossly under-represented in theatre and media. I anticipate that many women over 40 would feel like they have a voice and a sister in Yvette Dudley-Neuman.
The F Words is playing at Performance Works 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Vanessa Marshall
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F**k Tinder is a one-man monologue-type show by David Rodwin, playing at Performance Works as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival. It contains a lot of sexual content, as you may expect from the title. So be warned about that.
This show has the feel of a friend telling you nearly unbelievable stories over a beer. The venue contributes to this feeling of just hanging around and having some laughs, sharing some heartfelt moments, and being a part of some interesting insights about the human condition.
Rodwin is a charismatic and personable storyteller and it’s really enjoyable to be a part of his world. There are plenty of laughs here and it’s a thrilling ride.
However, there is too much to this show for the time allotted, and really, too much for one show. The performance I went to was over the already 75 minute show time, by 7 minutes. Some of this show is a hilarious, zany montage of sex-capades in San Fransisco, some of it is a heartfelt search for love. Those stories could be separated into two separate shows, or distilled down into one tighter performance, but there is too much here, and as a result, it sags in the middle as the story loses its purpose…..but, it finds it again….in the epilogue. Therefore, I really recommend everyone stays for the epilogue, because that’s where the point of this story really comes into fruition.
Overall, it’s a fun ride, and Rodwin is a performer and writer to watch in future.
F**k Tinder by David Rodwin is at Performance Works on Granville Island 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Vanessa Marshall
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