Do you miss Fringe?

I had my first day off in 4 months after the Ottawa Fringe let out on June 18th. That day off was real nice. And now I’m supposed to wrap up the festival this year. I’ve been on the road doing theatre, both Fringe-y and not, since April, and I have no plans to really … Continue reading Do you miss Fringe?

“Ethel” Two Years Later, Part Two

I first watched a brief version of Ethel at Fresh Meat 4, in 2015. Since then the piece has undergone immense reworking, and has become one of the most honest and touching personal explorations I’ve seen brought to any stage. Madeleine Hall has performed at the last two Fringes in a pair of (nearly) silent … Continue reading “Ethel” Two Years Later, Part Two

“Teaching Hamlet,” A Safe Play, Pass(es)

The Shakespeare authorship question. In this work, a companion piece to last year’s Shakespeare Crackpot, Creator/Performer Keir Cutler, playing an Oxfordian chapter Head stages a high-stakes video shoot with Brett Watson’s “renowned Shakespearean actor,” to strike a blow at the heart of the “Stratfordian” menace. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea of the debate around … Continue reading “Teaching Hamlet,” A Safe Play, Pass(es)

“Don’t Go Down to the River” Flows; in need of more visuals

With Don’t Go Down to the River, JIG theatrecompany has created a compelling and dark homegrown mystery, but the minimalist one-woman show format they utilize undermines the power of the world built by the narrative. Under the guise of showing her house off to potential buyers, Grace Shaw relates the dark history of her family … Continue reading “Don’t Go Down to the River” Flows; in need of more visuals

“Tiny Dynamite” Showcase for Potential Ignition

Meraki Theatre’s debut production, Tiny Dynamite, shows off the obvious talents and artistic instincts of its three members, though the production suffers from a lack of compromise with the practical drawbacks of its venue. One of the three shows at this year’s Fringe based on a pre-established script, Tiny Dynamite was written by British playwright … Continue reading “Tiny Dynamite” Showcase for Potential Ignition

“The Chronic Single’s Handbook” or: A How-To Guide to Problematic Gender Relations

Randy Ross’ Chronic Single’s Handbook follows his decision to travel around the world on a self-exploratory journey to find inner peace and figure out why he can’t hold down a girlfriend – like Eat Pray Love, but with more hookers. Though the show offers a bawdy, male perspective on the idea of the journey of … Continue reading “The Chronic Single’s Handbook” or: A How-To Guide to Problematic Gender Relations

“Endlings” Makes a Start

*The third paragraph of this review (beginning “This script raises…”) includes spoilers. Local playwright Vishesh Abeyratne takes a bold step forward with Endlings, a post-apocalyptic tale in which human reproduction is strictly controlled by the state. Though it begins to engage with important issues such as the nature of desire and what is really in … Continue reading “Endlings” Makes a Start

“A Better Play Than Hamlet” Isn’t

If you have any reverence for Shakespeare’s “greatest work,” you’re discouraged from attending this performance by it’s own show brief. Luckily, my reverence impulse leads inevitably to an irreverent impulse, because I believe irreverence can be one of the highest forms of praise. In any event, this show by turns mocks, in an explicit attempt … Continue reading “A Better Play Than Hamlet” Isn’t

“Lub Dub” Where’s the Rub?

Lub Dub, presented by NickelPumpernickel, is described in the Ottawa Fringe Festival show program as being unclassifiable, collaborative, experimental, comedy, and performance art. It is a mostly improv-based show interwoven with moments of storytelling that “speaks to the backgrounds of [creator-performers] Monica Joan Ogden, as a Filipina settler woman, and Tony Adams, as a European settler … Continue reading “Lub Dub” Where’s the Rub?