Allan Girod has a captivating physical presence on stage. He is truly mesmerizing. I liked nothing more than watching this six-foot-nine Australian man contort himself into a child, a louche motivational speaker and an asocial perfectionist.
When Harry Met Harry introduces us to a lonely man so isolated even from himself his dreams retell the moment he was abandoned as a boy. (Hats off to the lighting design for the eerie mindscape.)
Girod’s flawless control of his long limbs transformed the stage. He built his characters on the physical movement and shape of their bodies, transforming his own to fit...
Teaching Shakespeare - not a selling title, surely - claims more than 150 performances, which, for all I know, is a Fringe record. The actor (presumably Keir Cutler, credited as 'playwright') lectures to us, as a university Shakespeare class. He is devoted to Shakespeare; his approach is a random, free-association one. He speaks briefly of Titus, Hamlet, a sonnet, of verse forms, biogrpahy and the significance of what is not said. This is more sophisticated than The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged (at the Arts a few years ago); less fun than Shakespeare in Love. He is the instructor as...
Powerpoint-utilizing autobiographical storyteller extraordinaire Barry Smith is back with a show that is billed as being about his habit of keeping every record, photo, and scrap of personal information that passes through his life, but is more accurately about his colourful youth spent growing up in backwater Mississippi and southern California.
Alison Lynne Ward delivers an honest, funny one-woman show in ¼ Life Crisis. It’s a lively monologue about the struggles of being twenty-something, single and an artist with too many degrees and no career worth mentioning. The show is revealing, relatable and had the audience falling out of their chairs with laughter. The disappointment was the ending, which was a sadly cliché.
The UNO festival, by it's very nature, has its limitations; there are only two venues, and no production has more than three shows. Some shows deserve both a larger venue, and a longer run, if only to accommodate the number of people who want to see them.
Borrowing a scene from Superman, Chris Gibbs in Like Father, Like Son? Sorry (on now in Victoria as part of the Uno Fest) sweeps onstage with the plastic baby that would grow up to be Christopher Reeve. From here, he slides out of his robe and into a long reflection on his own fitness as a father. He then quickly adjusts the baby’s head so that it’s flat, unblinking, empty, lifeless, soullessly accusing blue eyes bore through the being of some unfortunate man in the front row. Gibbs is not one to let sincerity smother comedy for long.
Oldies play. Onstage is a plywood Toxbox which seems to have grown a skullet of red yarn. Following one of these threads onstage is redheaded sixth-grader Nicholas. Redheaded Stepchild begins (as part of this year's Uno Fest).
Johnnie Walker is redheaded and he wants you to know about it
If you kept your ears open around last year’s Fringe festivals, you probably picked up a shred of conversation or two about Chris Gibbs in The Power of Ignorance which is back in Victoria for a return engagement at the Uno Fest. Gibbs plays idiot-savant motivational speaker Vaguen – here to teach you (!) no less than nineteen (!) ways your ignorance (?) can save and better your daily life.