I’m surprised Martin Dockery didn’t burst into flames after his fiery performance of Bursting Into Flames. I know, probably too obvious. But… there. I said it. Fiery. This actor, writer, poet is a tour de force. From what force he comes, I know not what. The second Dockery arrives on stage, you should have your seat belt already buckled up because the ride has launched. You’ll be tossed around, if not.
Loneliness, unrequited love, friendship, shared adventures, searching want ads for a partner, innocence and unexpected answers are some of the themes played out in this red-nosed clown escapade, Fools For Love directed by Jan Henderson, at the Vancouver Fringe Festival.
Two neighboring clowns share their quest for love as they both hunt the personal ads in newspapers. Sometimes in the wrong section. “Looking for someone who can do heavy lifting!” says the enthusiastic Rocket, played by Adam Keefe. “That’s jobs!” returns the more pragmatic Sheshells, played by Christine Lesiak. They pause in the obituaries and pets before they return to the disappointing want ads. “No clowns!”
It’s Fringe time in Vancouver! Lucky moi am seeing a few shows and writing about a few. NOT critiquing per se, just creating conversation! The below post will also be found on Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance shortly.
#VanFringe: “You Killed Hamlet”
CRASSTASTIC! After watching You Killed Hamlet for my second time (first at Edmonton Fringe), I leaned over and asked the laughing couple sitting beside me which word would express what they just witnessed. She said, “crasstastic” and he, “original”. “May I quote you?” I asked. “YES!”
“You Killed Hamlet” by the Naked Empire Bouffon Company from San Francisco boldly, blatantly, boisterously (all the b’s to honour the B in Bouffon) mirror our cracked attitudes toward death, dying and aging. It is not for the faint of heart.
Today… look around you as you walk the street, stop at red lights, sit in your cafe, ride your bus, stand in line for groceries or at the bank, as you sit on a bench resting outside, at a hospital where you might be visiting or needing service, at the airport at arrivals or departures, at your community center, at the pool, or wherever you are.
Today… consider life as theatre.
Today… imagine the stories hidden behind the faces you witness. Give yourself permission to daydream into people’s lives.
By doing that, you will celebrate what theatre represents. People and their stories.
And, maybe, just maybe, you’ll take in a play? Go for it…
A bridge, a grassy knoll, a big pond, trees, stumps with blankets, odd bits and pieces not normally found in this context, a curiosity, and a sense of mystery all added up to a rehearsal I witnessed two days prior to the opening of site specific show “Relapse” by And The Other Leg Theatreof Vancouver.
It is one of many onsite shows inspired by all the nooks and crannies of Granville Island, mentored by Kendra Fanconi, the Producing Artistic Director of the Only Animal, and the Fringe’s Executive Director, David Jordan. In 2011, the Only Animal began its exploration of onsite creations and for this year’s Fringe has collaborated with 14 companies to produce the onsite line-up. Each company began their journey into the unknown by attending workshops April.
It’s now opening time, and so far we are blessed with the promise of good weather. After seeing photographer/actor/creator Chara Berk and clown/actor/creator Kaeridwyn Newman’s gritty piece the other evening, I will pray for warm weather until closing night. And, that’s all I’m saying! See it…
Years ago, I recall the mysterious, titillating, almost religious sensation after I rose at 4:00 a.m. to drive to Two Jack Lake near Banff, Alberta to see the site specific piece “Princess of the Stars”. It was 1985 and I was working at the Banff Centre in costumes. People shook their heads at this “crazy” outdoor project based on Native myths that would commence with the dawn.
Well… it was a beautifully haunting experience that has remained with me: musical instruments and voices singing from across the lake, the respectful silence as we were ushered in the dark to our spots on the grass, winged creatures being canoed through the mist, and the big wolf.
The “crazy” idea was met with mixed feelings, but I can attest that being on location while creations simultaneously unfold can be very exciting. How will nature and man interfere and create an extra dimension. What gems may appear? The expected unexpected will occur keeping us on our toes.
Knowing that, I encourage you to take in some of the Fringe Onsite, and maybe even the same show more than once. Challenge yourself to see what will happen to you. What reactions you might have.