Ed’s Picks of the 2017 Victoria Fringe Festival

2 Aug

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The 2017 Victoria Fringe Festival has one show where any paranormal enthusiast must not miss. Fake Ghost Tours will no doubt tickle the funny bone in its satire of an industry that I feel has gone too far. I will say more on this later. After picking up a program guide and thumbing through, I have found my picks for this year.

With no surprise, Mystical Wishes Puppet Company, has been invited back with two productions later this year, in November, with special performances of Shadow Performances and Space Hippo. Although listed as part of the Fringe show, they bear honourable mention to mark the calendar for.

But for the week of August 23 to Sept 3rd, there’s plenty of variety to enjoy. But I have to begin with a fuller reveal of my top choice:

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Fake Ghost Tours
Whells Phargo Productions

This walking tour of old Victoria is set to expand your mind and open your wallet (like, who has not experienced this problem before with pay-for ghost hunts?) as amateur ghost hunters Abdul Aziz and Shawn O’Hara take you on a “100% accurate” and legitimate look at the old quarters of this city? Plenty of criticism has been made about what you see on television as potentially faked, but what you have to experience it for real?

Will this show go extreme, like with a particular fun-filled version of the Ghost Walks which take place come Halloween? Or, will we get to laugh at the absurdity of seeing how some scares are manufactured. I will be showing up with a few of the tools most modern day ghost hunters use, so audiences should be aware – a wrench may be thrown in to tell all.

Note: the meeting point for this show is in Bastion Square near the Old Maritime Museum.

Blood Countess
Prarie Fire

From ghosts to vampires, Elizabeth Bathory may have been one, or she was just simply insane. This 16th century Countess killed over 600 girls to keep her beauty immortal, but when the locals found out, her trial and subsequent imprisonment is worth modern study. Some people believe everything was a result of a well-planned conspiracy to bring down a powerful aristocrat. In this drama, audiences are invited to figure the motivations out for themselves.

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Blown Away
Mr. Wizowski Entertainment

After reading the program guide’s description, I get visions of Bugs Bunny conducting an orchestra until a fly sends the rabbit into a madcap chase (or Leopald to sing beyond his means). You can judge for yourself if what’s going to happen will be just as madcap: Join Mr Wizowski in a madcap concert where anything can happen. Come to a place where the imagination can run free like unicorns and the laws of nature can be harnessed before your very eyes. A show for young and old, where you will see you are never too old to experience the world in a new light.

Ben San Del Presents

I’m not sure in what to ExSPECt for this show which only conjures forth visions of Cthulhu singing on stage. Well, that tentacle can be anyone, but when this show touts explorations into the supernatural, I’m sold! Just how many slacker robots, suicidal ghosts, interactive tombstones and disapproving gargoyles will be seen depends on whether the imagination is requires to bring them to life, or there are tons of props involved.

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Olive Copperbottom: A New Musical
by Charles Dickens and Penny Ashton
Penash Productions

Anyone who has read my past lists will find that I love musicals. Whether that’s broadway or made-for-fringe, I will be there. To interpret Charles Dickens this way only has me curious. This show is not going to be Annie. As a one-woman show, I am fascinated, as fringe productions are by no means massively lavish all the time.

Outpost 31

Yes, the supernatural theme is heavy this year in my list of shows to check out. Leer is said to blend Milton with Steampunk, and you can click here to read the preview.

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Jukebox Drive
Enigmatic Events

I have high hopes that this show will be nothing like the movie New Year’s Eve which starred Bon Jovi. His music may be the spotlight. According to the description: With Bon Jovi, they speed away from the scene of a crime; with Sinatra, they share their first kiss; with Adele, they spread the ashes of their dead friend. With music providing the backdrop, the actors of Jukebox Drive take a different improvised road trip each night, with a soundtrack influenced by the audience.

The Drowsy Chaperone
St. Michaels University School (SMUS)
Music Theatre Intensive

In the spirit of Canada 150, SMUS presents the homegrown, smash hit musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, winner of 5 Tony awards on Broadway. New York Magazine has called it “the perfect Broadway musical,” as it gently pokes fun at the myriad tropes that characterize the musical theatre genre. Meet Man in Chair, an eccentric and engaging music theatre enthusiastic, as he introduces us to a fictitious 1928 musical. It is an affectionate send up of the Jazz Age musical, full of toe-tapping songs and colourful characters, from pastry chef gangsters to starlets.
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‘Tween Earth and Sky
Fairfield Hall
Windwhistle Theatre

This show almost slipped by me mostly because I find getting to this venue problematical. There’s no decent amount of parking available and at my pace, it’s about a half an hour walk away from the center of Fringe Activity. But I will see this show about leprechauns, devils and corpses. These tales are from Irish legend and how can I not miss this? Maybe I will learn something about a country where its citizens embrace the supernatural far more easily than any other culture.

3 Responses to “Ed’s Picks of the 2017 Victoria Fringe Festival”

  1. Ed Sum 2017-08-02 at 1:24 pm #

    Reblogged this on and commented:

    From the sister site, Otakunoculture, I offer my picks of the 2017 Victoria Fringe Festival season.

  2. enigmaticevents 2017-08-25 at 1:10 am #

    Well, I hope also that are show is nothing much like Bon Jovi’s movie too :) Though we did get ‘Shot through the heart’ tonight. Thanks for the fringe pick!

    • Ed Sum 2017-08-25 at 2:07 am #

      You’re welcome. I was there opening night and enjoyed the show. The review can be found on the sister site: twohungryblokes.com Fri morning

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