Freaks and funnies at the Fringe
Ottawa XPress – June 16, 2011
by Jean-Thomas Tremblay
Avant-garde and offbeat, the Ottawa Fringe Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary with a host of cutting-edge productions
Actor, writer, director and singer Brent Hirose will take over the stage of the SAW Gallery with his latest solo show, The Suckerpunch. The Winnipeg artist has built a solid reputation as a workaholic, participating in more than 15 plays and 10 movies, in addition to being actively involved with five companies and troupes. Described as a “fantastic tale of time travel, theoretical terrorists and terrible science,” The Suckerpunch pledges to immerse the audience into Hirose’s insane universe. Hirose is one not to miss at this year’s Fringe.
June 16-26 at SAW Gallery (67 Nicholas)
Aiming for the more conventional? Despite its everyday name, Curriculum Vitae is probably not the ideal solution for those seeking routine and convention. Also a solo show, the play, written and performed by Jimmy Hogg and directed by Peter J. Morey, focuses on Hogg’s character as he gets ready for a job interview, providing theatregoers with an exhaustive overview of the experience he has accumulated on the job market. Echoes from various festivals allude to a refreshing dose of British humour in the approach prioritized by the Plymouth, U.K., performer. In a city obsessed with the bureaucratic performance of resumé-building, Curriculum Vitae should hit the right note.
June 19-25 at Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly)
Perhaps the most anticipated production of this year’s Fringe, Philip Ridley’s
controversial Moonfleece, which inquires into homophobia, racism and the British Nationalist Party, was banned in Dudley, U.K., on the premise that the content of the play would offend the community. An acclaimed portrait of queer urbanity, Moonfleece transcends its British context in order to appeal to numerous territorial entities witnessing the rise of far-right movements. Presented by Ottawa’s very own Third Wall company, the play has been enjoying favourable hype as a consequence of the extravagant media exposure enjoyed by the original production.
June 17-26 at University of Ottawa, Studio 311 (135 Séraphin-Marion)
Fruitcake: Ten Commandments From the Psych Ward
A peculiar addition to the monumental British lineup set to take over the Fringe, Fruitcake: Ten Commandments From the Psych Ward details the course of a night shift in a psychiatric department. A former psychiatric nurse himself, writer and performer Rob Gee plays an employee who hears the voice of God personified by a Jamaican female dub poet. Under director Tracy Cruickshank’s supervision, Gee takes the audience on a hysterical journey through the unusual life of an individual whose angst derives from his overwhelming exposure to absurd situations. The award-winning play, a mix of stand-up comedy and traditional narration, has been praised for its genuine humanity, to which Gee’s exalting performance seems to contribute immensely.
June 20-26 at Arts Court Library (2 Daly)