experimental

Leaving the life of the American demimonde for anthropology, survivor guilt and Asian primates is a wild ride for Holly, the ex-showgirl turned wannabe ape rescuer. This detailed reading of Jenn Griffin’s play, The Long Call, directed by Heidi Taylor, IS a wild ride. Funny at times, touching, a little bit menacing—who is Jack, what does he really want, and how is this going to end? I found it really fascinating to be witness to the process of developing this play, as reportedly the actors had only finished a cold-reading, and sound design was ongoing improvisation during this performance....

Great Day For Up was written and performed by Jonathan Young while he was a student at Studio 58 in 1996 and the version presented in the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival is an evolution of that student project. Using the lighting, sound and space of theatre, Young presents a homunculus who struggles with angst and self-doubt to finally have an epiphany.

I am so relieved that they provided an afterward in the program to Great Day For Up. After the 30-minute show I left the theatre confused and disoriented. To provide some context, I like shows that have a...

An audience of six huddles around the open door of Pandora Park’s Fieldhouse, fluorescent light burning a rectangle in the darkness, a moth flutters into our faces (not part of the show) as two girls inside a closet fight with balloons. Well, maybe fight isn’t the right word. And they aren’t really balloons. Two girls inside a closet roll their bodies against the thin squeaky skin of two clear plastic garbage bags puffed up with air and tied tightly like empty pillows. They wear matching pajamas - a black and white pattern that...

If you like symbolist, Artaudian, avant-garde, experimental theatre, I would recommend making the trek out to the Firehall because there aren’t many shows like this at the Vancouver Fringe Festival.  

But if you don’t, then don’t waste your time with this show.  

I don’t like this type of theatre. But that’s just me. Objectively, [email protected]%! is a well-oiled assembly line of activity that is passively interesting but produces no clear messages or story in its 60 minutes on stage. 

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I arrive just before 7 pm - for a show that started at 12 noon and will wrap up about 8 pm.  The sound begins to envelope you as you enter the space. I then notice about 30 people lying on the floor listening.  Some are motionless.  Others are chanting or pounding the floor with various limbs.  I sit down in the front row of chairs - I think there are more people onstage in the action than with me in the stands.

After several minutes of sounds and audience members wandering in and out, a small band starts to...

Musicians in motion