In an update on the pizza truck let me say that the Pesto, Spinach and Provolone creation was a much better experience. The Lovey’s BBQ Poutine was a letdown though as it’s considerably smaller than the restaurant version and much stingier on the meat/sauce.
Roller Derby Saved my Soul (Venue 8, Rachel Browne Theatre)
First off, what happened to this theatre? Did they redo the seating? While the seats are fantastic the legroom is simply ridiculous. If it had been a full house my knees would have been pressed against the seat in front of me all show (and my legs are probably around average length for a guy.) Anyway…
I adored this show. Amy is an introverted young woman who spends her days at an uninspiring job and her nights revisiting her pop culture heroes and wishing her life had some of that meaning (as I fervently pretend to have no insight on that experience.) When she receives a chance introduction to Roller Derby, it’s the beginning of a journey that unleashes the ass-kicking ‘warrior princess’ within her. Writer/Performer Nancy Kenny was fantastic in the role of Amy. I particularly loved the occasionally cheeky/blushing grin that she’d let escape from shy Amy to convey those unguarded moments we all occasionally have.
Seriously, go see this show.
Who Killed Gertrude Crump? (Venue 4, Alloway Hall)
For some reason I feel like Monster Theatre has been around as long as I’ve been going to the Fringe. Taking a quick look at their history I can see many of my favourite comic plays over the past 10-15 years. The Canada Show, Jesus Christ the Lost Years, Napoleon’s Secret Diary etc… More recently there was Assassinating Thomson and Til Death: The Six Wives of Henry VIII and the latter was the first time I saw a showpiece for Tara Travis.
This time Tara Travis is serving as puppeteer/narrator/winker for a puppet based murder mystery in the Agatha Christie vein. The puppets themselves are adorable and the stage/scenery are designed in a way that a few waves of her hand and a comment from Travis are all it takes for a scene change. This is usually one of my biggest problems with Puppet Theatre for Adults as many productions overdesign their staging to the point where there are fully 30+ second interludes that completely destroy the pacing of the show. Kudos to the team for keeping the action moving smartly. The dialogue moves at a sprightly pace as well with Travis showing the same flair for quickly swapping between characters/accents that she showed in Til Death. It was a lot of fun. My only complaint would be that Alloway Hall is a particularly poor venue for them as it’s very much in the vein of ‘Make the stage and the seating as wide as we can to use up the room’ fringe venues that kind of destroy the ambience of smaller more focused acts. Nothing the performers can do about that of course with a lottery spot.
Rumble Pak Improv (Venue 7, Cinematheque)
Not a lot to say about this one. Some funny/inspired moments, a fair bit of pointed silences for thinking though. Perhaps the performers were just dragging a bit at this point in the festival. Perfectly fine, but certainly not at the level of Outside Joke, Hip Bang or some of your other long form choices.
Overheard in line (day 9): “You’re a wonderful man sir” –Fraz (after I responded to his flyer saying I’d been there last week)
Highlight of the Day/Recommendations:
Roller Derby Saves my Soul was the standout for me, and it won Patron’s pick so you have an extra chance to see it. Do it!
Leaflets/handbills rec’d: 82 (Mostly getting offered repeats at this point)
The Untitled Sam Mullins project at Lunch followed by… err… I’m honestly not really sure why afterwards. Friday’s right after work schedule seems a bit devoid of things I really wanted to see.