So Fringe festival is over and I really enjoyed being an active watcher instead of an over active performer.
Things that I really loved seeing:
Expiration Date by Sunset Gun Productions
This received a standing ovation at the end of the show and it was well deserved. Candy’s piece is a delicate, intricately woven, spider web which dissects a terminal illness with honesty, passion and humour. She embodies every character with ease and if you are not glassy eyed by the end there’s something wrong with you. It could have been morbid and maudlin, it could have fallen so far from the mark but thankfully it didn’t. It felt uplifting. It felt like being part of a collective epiphany. There was a swell of feeling in the audience, people sniffing back their emotions, a silence at the end of the show when the lights came up and people really thought about what they’d just seen. My friend and I had both cried, in fact most of the people around us had cried but I left the theatre filled with a passion about “stuff & things”. In some ways I’m quite passive. Sure I take chances and risks but there are a lot of things I don’t do….that I really ought to and perhaps now I will.
The show needs a wider audience and if the Theatre Gods are willing it will have it. If it comes to your neck of the woods I suggest you go see it. If it doesn’t come to your neck of the woods I suggest you organise for it to get there.
Lolita by Four Humors
This was brilliantly crafted and expertly performed. The three men from the Four Humors company (plus two chairs) fill the stage and kept me entertained at breakneck speed. This show should be a masterclass in how to handle sensitive material with ease. While watching the show I was thinking about how they were going to handle the fact that it was a story about two pedophiles, and they were presenting it as a comedy. They handled it beautifully and it was pitch perfect. In fact I couldn’t have predicted a better ending for the show.
I had never seen any productions by the Four Humors Company but I’d always heard lots about them. I will make it a point at the next fringe, or my next visit to MN (which ever comes first) to put a show of theirs (any show) on my schedule.
Ain’t True and Uncle False by Paul Strickland
This was more than a little bit wow! It was well crafted, with stories, songs and characters interwoven so beautifully. Everything was quirky and off the wall but slotted together to create a really enjoyable show. I loved the overall message of the piece (well the message I took anyway): Live Life/Be You/Be Weird/ Find Your Story, and Live it Hard. I also may have fallen a teeny tiny bit in love with Paul Strickland as a performer. #justsayin’
Fashion Risk or The Accidental Nudist by Natalie Rae Wass
This was sweet, smart and funny. Sure there were a lot of naked people on the stage, doing ordinary everyday things with their bits and pieces just dangling about but this is not the overall impression you’re left with. What you’re left with is the sense that young girls need to see the show so they can become comfortable in their own skin. Too often they are bombarded with magazine photos that are tweeked and photoshopped to a ridiculous extent. No one can relax under those standards. Who can thrive with unrealistic expectations that are so damaging to young girls self esteem. When they see this show the thing they should come away with is that you are more than just what skin you’re living in.
I’ve enjoyed my time in Minneapolis. As usual it was never long enough to catch up with all the people I wanted to see. Every time I come here I find a new place I want to visit, or shows happening three weeks from now that I must see and it’s always so hard to leave. I guess some day I’ll have to work on being able to be here long term.
Reading info this week: Fringe blurbs & Reviews