Tag Archives: London Fringe

London Fringe – REVIEWS!

I’ve been out to see and review a few shows on behalf of Theatre in London, and here is what I have to say about each. I hope you are enjoying the Fringe so far. What have you seen, and do you agree or disagree with my reviews?

Don’t forget, you can find my reviews and more on the London Fringe website. I will be reviewing more throughout the week, so be sure to check back soon.

Desperate Church Wives

A full house and a standing ovation were both well deserved for this incredibly well written and performed show. Diane L. Johnstone is brilliant as she brings six different characters to life in just 55 minutes. Her character transitions are seamless and the audience responds to each character as if they are really sitting in a church meeting by singing, clapping and bowing their heads in prayer. It was almost a spiritual experience for me and the message was powerful: We all deserve unconditional love, acceptance, forgiveness and freedom from judgment. See this show. Its brilliance in writing and acting is unparalleled.

TIP: if you sit near the front, you just might get a cookie from Grandma Word. But I guarantee you, that isn’t all you will get from her. Enjoy!

Grade 8

I have just one complaint about this show: there were not enough bodies in the seats on its opening night. This is a show that deserves to have a packed house and if you miss it, you really are missing out.

I don’t think I have seen such a sincere and moving show in all of my Fringe experience. Perhaps I find it relatable as the mom of a 12 year old girl, but even in the absence of being able to relate I would have been moved by the raw honesty of the subject, which is a simple story that describes the emotions of love and loss, and how our fears are rooted in love.

Dwayne Morgan is an extremely talented spoken word artist and his timing and delivery of Grade 8 was impeccable. I really hope this show gets the audience it deserves this week at Fringe. Bravo!

Care

“How did it get there?” If you’ve ever attended to the bathroom needs of a child or adult you will know that question well. Dan Ebbs successfully puts that question into a song as he recounts his time caring for his elderly parents who have Alzheimer’s.

“Care” is a little bit like a lecture or information session done in musical form which keeps it light, interesting and informative at the same time. With hilarious audience participation he demonstrates how difficult it is for a healthy mind to remember simple things: so just imagine what it is like for a mind with dementia.

Half of the proceeds of this show go to local care organizations, so seeing “Care” will make you feel doubly good. You will gain an understanding of the unsung heroes known as caregivers, and be supporting agencies at the same time. Well worth the price of admission, I’d say.

The Chronic Singles Handbook

The Chronic Singles Handbook feels like a small snapshot of a much bigger picture. A snippet into the many (mis)adventures of a chronic single. It is a funny (though at times uncomfortable) and raw piece of prose that definitely isn’t PG or politically correct, but it is certainly fun to watch. The way Randy Ross embodies his character through gestures and transitions around the stage makes him entertaining and endearing. The moral of his story came across as this: when you shake a tree you just might find nuts. It seems Randy shook the tree and found more than his share of nuts, but perhaps in the end it was his own shell he needed to crack. The Chronic Singles Handbook is a charming show that kept the crowd laughing, and is worth seeing no matter where you fall: chronically single or happily married.

London Fringe Festival 2015 – Show Recommendations

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.

Adult Fringe

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!