For the first time in its 16 year history, London Fringe Festival is coming to the Old East Village and is already off to a fantastic start! There wasn’t an empty seat in the house at the Palace Theatre for the Performer Showcase last night as the artists took to the stage to promote their shows in three minutes or less. If the reactions of the house say anything, this is going to be a FANTASTIC Fringe!
Whether you are a first time festival goer or a seasoned pro, you will find this year’s Fringe promises something for everyone. From explicit comedy to family friendly fun, Fringe is spread across seven venues including three in the Old East Village: The Main Stage and Procunier Hall at the Palace Theatre, and the newly acquired space called “The Bank” at 762 Dundas Street.
Based on tonight’s showcase and performances I’ve been lucky to review in the past, I’d like to give you a few early recommendations on shows I feel you might not want to miss. I will be posting reviews with Theatre In London over the opening weekend, so check back for more recommendations later!
Family Friendly Fringe
AbraKIDAbra – The Bank
– Peter Mennie presents a comedy magic show that is fun for all ages. You can’t go wrong at $8 per ticket!
Only 3 shows: June 6, 7 and 13th.
Caws & Effect – McManus Studio
– Described as large scale shadow theatre from a bird’s eye view. The three minutes we saw at the preview were highly intriguing!
June 3, 6, 7, 9, 12 and 13th. – $12
Holka Polka – Palace Theatre Main Stage
– From the Palace Theatre’s very own LYTE program comes this delightful tale about a good little witch. It’s always a great show when it’s put on by Theatre LYTE.
June 4, 5, 8, 10, 12 and 13th – $10.
James & Jamesy in the Dark – McManus Studio
– Okay, based on past performances I find they aren’t quite my cup of tea but the kids (and the crowd!) go wild for them. Highly silly humour that drives the kids wild! $12 per ticket.
June 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11th.
Dance Adventures – Palace Theatre Main Stage
– I love dance, so this one was a given for me to add. This is an energetic and entertaining group of young dancers from London that you don’t want to miss. Tickets are $10 and they perform June 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13th.
Some of these aren’t strictly adult, but most would be suitable for older children/teens. Check the Fringe program for more details on content that may be questionable in each show.
God is a Scottish Drag Queen II – Palace Theatre Main Stage
– I was fortunate to review the first installment of this at last year’s Fringe festival. Not only did I bust a gut, I bust a move with God! Be careful raising your hand at a comedy show….
June 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. – $12
Die Roten Punkte: Best Band in the World – Palace Theatre Main Stage
– They had me busting a gut in just 3 minutes. I can’t wait to see what they do with an hour!
June 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11 – $12
Grade 8 – The Bank
– Raw and heartfelt stories told through spoken word and monologues. I highly enjoyed the preview and can’t wait to review this one for you. Stay tuned!
June 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. – $10
Underneath the Lintel – Spriet Family Theatre
– I reviewed this show in 2012 and loved it. Can’t wait to see it again this week! Don’t tell Patrick O’Brien, but I think I’ve got a strange little crush on his character. You’re going to love this one. (You’re welcome!)
June 4, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13. $12.
Lest We Regret – The Arts Project
– I’m choosing this one for several reasons. 1) The subject is compelling. 2) The preview was fantastic. 3) I’ve worked with Tim Bourgard and Tim Condon and I adore them. and 4) The woman in the show walks her dog past my home. Keepin’ it OEV!
June 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13. – $12.
Northern Daughter – McManus Studio
– Keeping it with OEV, you must, must, must see our very own Donna Creighton’s presentation of Northern Daughter. Compelling, funny and absolutely gritty, you will run the gambit of emotions with this one I think. Enjoy!
June 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13. – $12
I could go on, I’m sure, but there is a start for you. Come back and let me know what shows you check out and what you think of them.
Don’t forget about the Old East Village Street Festival and Sidewalk Sales on June 6th between Dundas and Rectory Streets, and the Dundas Street Festival on June 13th followed by Nuit Blanche! Happy Fringing, everybody!