A Buddha statue sits prominently downstage centre, radiating out a message to the audience: “keep your eye on me, something terrible is about to happen to me”.  The anticipation of disaster and predicting which of the various elements will likely go wrong is at the core of a work like Peter Shaffer’s Black Comedy, currently in production at the Arts Club.

  You know from the start that the Buddha is in danger and the joy comes in is seeing when/how the object will ultimately meet its demise.  It’s kind of like sex in that you know there should...

Julie McIsaac and Charlie Gallant in Black Comedy. Photo: Emily Cooper.

House of KOSA by Miranda Huba, presented by the TigerMilk Collective, depicts the warped personalities of the family that governs a fictional fashion house, with particular focus on the relationship between the head of the household and the daughter who is his only scion.

In this decadent and ruthless universe father and daughter bond over breakfasts of champagne and French pastries by sharing stories of sexual debauchery: father hangs on daughter's every word, and delights in the notoriety her scandals bring to his house. Their sordid morning tête-a-têtes are presided over, vaguely, by the mother of the house,...

The chorus look on mother in House of KOSA. Photo credit: Cory Dawson

A unique collaboration of writers, actors and directors, Leaping Thespians is a group of talented women who take turns in all of these roles, and it really works!

They perform together, create together, and from the look of this production, have a damn good time together. The script for Once Upon a Lesbian lends itself perfectly to this collaborative style with a number of independent yet related vignettes complementing the main story.

Set in the year 2369, two women (named Eight One and Three Six), are under the strict rule of the Hierarchy – laws like no touching...

Once Upon a Lesbian: no touching, photo by Peter Taylor

Shotgun, written and directed by Kari Marken and Jody Parasiers, is a series of vignettes about four high-school teachers car pooling.  Mike, Ben and Kathryn (Jeff Kerrie, Hector Johnson, and Gemma Levinson) are the returning car poolers while Tessa (Ela Desmarchelier) is a newcomer from Australia.

Clocking in at about 45 minutes, this is short and sweet comedy fare. There’s the faint line of a story arc but really Shotgun is about the passage of time and what happens to characters forced to spend time with each other in a confined space.

This is the kind of...

Did your teacher look like this? Mike demonstrates deep knowledge about lego characters.

Midnight Hotel Productions is a new company out of NYC that has decided to bring their above mentioned show to not only the Victoria Fringe, but Vancouver as well. Good for them: get out, see the west coast, “go kayaking with the orcas”, have fun.

And kudos for spending the time to develop this show at an artists’ residency in the Adirondacks. Looks positively stunning and inspiring (the retreat that is…)

Kenneth Lang is the man who spent time there creating a character he describes “as a cross between Willy Wonka and a Russian Brothers Grimm” to be the...

The Journey is almost done.

The concept is simple and a whole lot of fun.

HIVE: The New Bees brings together senior graduating students from SFU, Studio 58 and UBC, and is mentored by the professional companies behind the original HIVE concept. These students have created and are now performing 6 short length theatre pieces inside The Russian Hall for the last few days of The Fringe.
The space itself is pretty great. With a bar, live music, and lots of pretzels, the main hall has a really casual, laid back feel for the production(s). The spaces which the actual performances...

Mini-Hive: a swell evenng worth the travel.

Lots of rumours about the Red Bastard around the Fringe site, in line-ups, at the Fringe bar…buzz buzz buzz…so off I eagerly scampered to experience this phenomenon.

From the very beginning he is sneaky, peering out from behind the curtain, teasing the audience. And his sneakiness does not stop there. What will he do next? No idea – nobody knows, he doesn’t even know, as he uses the present audience for his adlibbing content. Oh what a bastard. But for all the bastardness exuding from his ludicrous self, I loved him - the originality, the unknown, the grossness. Here...

Would you put your hand up there? Plank: we go where others fear to go.

Arriving at Granville Island while the rain still pattered away, I was relieved to feel it subside as I made my way to Jullanar of the Sea. The air was fresh and the ground damp along the walkway to the very corner of the island at the Amphitheatre in Ron Basford Park.

I wondered if this play would actually take place tonight. At the far corner sat a small tent, colourful material hang from the sides, pillows strewn on the ground and blankets scattered warmly. There were at least 20 of us waiting to partake in this storytelling...

Naomi Steinberg

There are many churches, halls and meeting places where people go to study the Word; most of the time you are there, reading passages and trying to find some deeper meaning.

I think stories from the Bible are actually great stories. They are like Greek myths or legends from a far off place in time. There are lessons to be learned, but they are entertaining nonetheless.  Many of the great classic movies in our culture are Bible based.  So to see a Fringe-show also draw from the Bible was refreshing. It was a new experience for me to view...

Victor got the gospel

The analgesic properties of PCPs can cause users to feel less pain, and persist in violent or injurious acts as a result.

Jem Rolls? Funny? I'm sorry, it's not,
Jem Rolls, Leastest is a flop.
It's a non-starter
'cause the audience is smarter
than a bag of hammers –
why listen to the yammer
of a yowling punter
performing half-baked stunts to
show off his vocab.
to show that he's all that
to show that he's badder and madder and radder –
reciting doggerel at machine-gun speed,
one wonders if he's learned to read?
Is he a product...

Jem Rolls: a tosser's revenge