Victoria Fringe 2008 Reviews

The Victoria Fringe 2008 took place between August 21st through August 31st, 2008. Below are the Plank Magazine reviews.

Jayson McDonald wowed audiences at last year’s Fringe with his hit Giant Invisible Robot. By the time I decided to go see it, the shows were sold out. This year, I made sure Boat Load was one of the first I checked out. I made a wise choice because he has another hit on his hands.

Boat Load, exciting and new, come aboard we're expecting you.

Had the Fringe Festival brochure mentioned the fact that Andrew Connor is one half of The Cody Rivers Show there probably would have been a larger audience for the opening night performance of his "solo fiction" play Boom.

Andrew Connor, sans wig, glasses, sweater vest, suit, skirt and mismatched socks - but with one very red, very big ball.

Minneapolis-based Amy Salloway brings Circumference, a multi-character one woman show about a woman who has divorced her body, to this year’s Victoria Fringe Festival.

Circumference: Amy Salloway gets the measure of the US health insurance scam, er, system

The house was nearly full for the first performance of Crude Love on Tuesday August 26th. I knew within the first ten minutes that this play would be a definite audience pleaser.

Crude Love, asking the question how different is alberta under US occupation than the tories

Amid the "Solo Character Monologue", the "Seri-comic Monologue", and the "Solo Comedic Monologue" (not to mention the "Solo Comedy Drama" and the "Solo Fiction") it's refreshing to see a Fringe show listed simply as “Standup Comedy" - but that's Nile Séguin for you, cutting through the BS and going right for the funny bone - via the jugular.

Nile Seguin is bigger in real life, anyone with evidence Plank will post the picture here

Even with the particular staging of Grow Your Own Dinosaur that I took in (starting at the ripe hour of 11 pm on a Sunday night), there was a sizable audience and an energetic cast.

Grow your own dinosaur, please note this woman is a professional do not attempt in your own backyard

When Wes Borg moved to Victoria last fall he showed up with his laptop, a guitar, half a pack of smokes and a duffel bag of dirty clothes. Now, almost a year later...those smokes are long gone. And he's got a hit Fringe Play on his hands.

Ha Ha

I’ll get this out of the way first. I’m a big musical theatre nut. When I showed up at Wood Hall to catch the Victoria Fringe premiere of Les Ms., I knew I wasn’t alone in that. A good-sized number of fringe-goers were there to see this send-up of the Broadway/West End classic, performed by Nelson-based performers Robyn Lamb and Lisel Forst.

Les Ms

Fringe shows are typically driven by a small number of people, with fairly small casts and fairly light technical demands. Some even attempt to make some form of statement. Lysistrata’s War has a cast of twenty-five and kept the venue technician very busy. As for the statement it tries to make, it’s basically a political allegory gone wrong.

Lysistrata's War. Who cares if they can sing, Mike? Check this out, they're against war

Old Growth is a new thought provoking production composed and performed by Alex Eddington. It now features Allison Williams who replaces Aura Giles.

Hug that tree!

A life in customer service is explored through the eyes of a barista in SeriousBucks, written by Caroyn Birch and performed by Kelly Hudson.

Seriousbucks: can't we just say, small, medium and large?

Does anyone remember indie director Gus Van Sant's 1998, shot-by-shot, remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho?

Swimming to Cambodia: an exercise in why?

The Fred Wells Show chronicles the real life journey of Fred Marshall Wells to the Caribou Mountains during the depression and his sheer determination to search for gold.

BC's history is filled with lunatics and eccentrics, The Fred Wells Show celebrates one of them.

There are plays that have a real emotional impact on its audience - and when you see one, it stays with you for quite some time.  The Measure of Love is one of these plays and it will most definitely stick with me for a very long time.

Measure of Love moves cynical Plank reviewer

The Mechanical Bride is a sweet technologic romantic comedy about the real and technological difficulties to communicate.

Mechanical Bride, does your mother know that you're out?

The Play:
The Skinny Presents: Adventures In X-Ray Theatre, written and performed by Vancouver-based Jackie Blackmore, Michael John Unger and Darren Williams. They did not wear pants throughout their show - unlike the panel of reviewers you are about to meet.

They're skinny and they don't like to wear pants.

TJ Dawe has become a perennial favorite at the Victoria Fringe Festival, and for good reason. His one man shows shine and spin like a midway ride at a Fall Fair. But since much of his material is autobiographical, and, by his own admission, he's been spending much of his recent life on the Fringe circuit, perhaps it was inevitable that it would come to this: a Fringe show about putting on a Fringe show.

TJ Dawe on a voyage of discovery at a fringe festival near you