A Nerd’s Guide to the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival

null8By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

I generally do not limit myself to the oddities which catch my interest at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival. The following are my nerdy style picks of the season, and only represent a part of the wide spectrum of delights offered. There are a few other shows which I plan to see, and hopefully, I can catch them all. No Pokemon GO references are expected this year but I have my reasons to be at each show early. The game continues with thanks to the die-hards, and I found my first Dragonite and Lapras before a show. Even told a group of performers where I found the latter, and they went chasing after one too. Yes, I’m wondering if this streak will continue.

For those who are not coming to this city for this celebration, most of these companies are touring and may well hit a celebration located near you. The season started a few months ago and stretch into the Autumn.

Disclaimer: Some of these shows use coarse language and are 18+

null9A Brief History of Beer
Wish Experience
Victoria Events Center (1415 Broad)

TUE AUG 28 – 5:30PM
THU AUG 30 – 9:30PM
FRI AUG 31 – 5PM
SUN SEP 2 – 7:15PM

This sci-fi sketch comedy looks like it will mix Star Trek with Cheers for an experience that must be seen to be believed. I’m hooked because it pays tribute to a brew which should include a moment in Ancient Egypt. Need I say more?


Angels & Aliens
Activesalad / Peachy Keen Productions
Langham Court Theatre (805 Langham Court)

TUE AUG 28 – 6:30PM
THU AUG 30 – 7PM
FRI AUG 31 – 5PM
SAT SEP 1 – 1:45PM
SUN SEP 2 – 6:30PM

Jeff Leard and Sydney Hayduk team up to answer the big questions of are we alone in the Universe and are we living in a computer simulation? The Matrix? Heck, I think we do, but no in that virtual reality sense. Instead, perhaps what’s required is to be prepared for what’s next in life and be able to face it head-on.


Death! A Romantic Comedy
Rob Gee
VCM Wood Hall (907 Pandora)

MON AUG 27 – 6:15PM
THU AUG 30 – 8PM
FRI AUG 31 – 7:30PM
SAT SEP 1 – 10:45PM
SUN SEP 2 – 12:30PM

This talent often leaves me in stitches. I recall seeing him in Pandemonium and to see him talk balk about drinking, death, falling in love and a missing pacemaker has me ready to come armed and prepared. Death is tough to express in comedy and am I prepared to face it? Only time will tell.


St. Michaels Music Theatre Intensive
3400 Richmond Rd

THU AUG 30 – 7PM
FRI AUG 31 – 7PM

This recent Broadway hit lovingly parodies the 1970s disaster film genre. Come join a colourful group of New Yorkers at the grand opening of a floating casino (with a disco!) as they fall prey to all sorts of tragic disasters. Inspired by a plot from instantly recognizable 1970s films, such as an earthquake, this hilarious jukebox musical’ revives popular 70s songs that will no doubt have you singing along. Characters include a nun with a gambling addiction, a lounge singer and a flirtatious casino caterer! The performers (all local teens) will have you grooving…and in emergency preparation mode all at the same time!


Ernie and Bethy
Broken-down Bus Productions
Downtown Community Centre (755 Pandora)

FRI AUG 24 – 7:45PM
SAT AUG 25 – 2:45PM
WED AUG 29 – 8:15PM
THU AUG 30 – 6:15PM
SAT SEP 1 – 2:15PM
SUN SEP 2 – 2:30PM

Puppetmaster Mike Quinn has a huge passion for this style of entertainment and I can tell from speaking to him, his enthusiasm goes beyond from simply being able to do what he loved when he discovered this style of performance theatre at a very young age! After speaking to him some months ago (interview can be found here), and finding Ernie and Bethy listed in this year’s show, I have to explore the satire that Quinn talked about back in the days when puppetry can be used to express distaste with current affairs. Italian Commedia Dell’arte is a form of theatre used to speak out against the government. With this show, the struggle to create ‘real art’ and explore Existentialism sounds like my cup of tea!


Fake Ghost Tours 2: Tour Fast Four Furious
Wells Fargo Productions

Please click on this link for times and ticketing.
Three shows a night, from Aug 28 to Sept 2

My passion for the paranormal is far more serious than finding the humour when investigating for real. Not everyone is like Spooky from Casper the Friendly Ghost. When I can turn that former mode off, the yuk-yuks offered by mad Abdul Aziz (no relation to the character in H.P. Lovecraft‘s world who authored the Necronomicon) and Shawn O’hara (a half-brother) can make for some amusing anecdotes of this city’s past. They are back for a sequel, and can they be funnier than the parodies of Sky / Travel Channel’s Most Haunted? Generally, I say yes, and that’s why I’m here.

The meeting point for this show is in CRD square on the Government Street side (near to the statue of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen).


The Great Little Show
The Ensemble
Metro Studio (1411 Quadra)

FRI AUG 24 – 7PM
SAT AUG 25 – 3PM
SUN AUG 26 – 5:45PM
FRI AUG 31 – 4:30PM
SUN SEP 2 – 1:15PM

Created and performed by members of this years hit “The GREAT BIG SHOW” who also happen to be adult artists with “developmental disabilities,” this opposite version will offer a concert to delight youths. This performance is touted to offer more than Sesame Street could ever teach—and perhaps remind us what it means to be forever young!


Kitt & Jane:
An Interactive Survival Guide
To The Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future
My Brother The Changeling
Langham Court Theatre (805 Langham Court)

TUE AUG 28 – 8:30PM
WED AUG 29 – 8:45PM
THU AUG 30 – 5PM
SAT SEP 1 – 10PM
SUN SEP 2 – 2:30PM

After seeing last year’s Interstellar Elder, and hearing this show is the sequel to it, how can I not want to miss this program? The surreal quality of the former was hilarious in an I Love Lucy kind of way, and for this, which features the talents of two performers than one, could spell disaster in a different kind of way. I get the feeling audiences will be participating a lot, when this work is billed as “a poignant exploration of the world today’s youth are inheriting, and how they’re willing to fight for it.”


Sherlock Holmes & The Curse of Moriarty
Outpost 31
Langham Court Theatre (805 Langham Court)

THU AUG 23 – 7:30PM
FRI AUG 24 – 9PM
SAT AUG 25 – 3PM
SUN AUG 26 – 4:30PM
FRI AUG 31 – 9PM

Watching period pieces as live theatre is always fun to watch. And when local talent, David Elendune (creator of past Fringe shows Winnie the Pooh & Casino Royale) is involved, all I have to say is that I’m there! I’m assuming it will be presented as a radio drama.

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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