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[Victoria Fringe Festival 2017] A Peek into a World Premiere of “Leer”

1 Aug

LEER-Skull

Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra Street
Victoria, BC

Showtimes:

Aug 25th 10:30pm
Aug 26th 1:15pm
Aug 27th 6:30pm
Aug 28th 8.45pm
Sept 2nd 3:45pm
Sept 3rd 1:00pm

The 2017 Victoria Fringe Festival will soon take over this Garden City located on Vancouver Island, and Outpost 31 (Casino Royale, Winnie the Pooh) is back with the world premiere of Leer. David Elendune wrote and directed this tale which looks into the deepest layer of Hell, where Satan is female (played by Wendy Magahay, known for Jocasta Regina and The Old Lady’s Guide to Survival) and has three daughters — Lilith (Ellen Law), Beelzebub (Amber Landry) and Asmodeus (Wendy Cornock) — to tend to. The cast also includes Pan (Caroline Mackenzie) and Belphegor (Leanne Allen).

Magahay explained why she took on the role: “I’m a mother, so I’m used to making scary choices. Because it’s a terrific story and actors can’t resist good stories. Because it’s gender-bent and provides a new and important lens. And sadly, because mad dictators seem never to go out of style!”

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Making a B Line (can’t say P) to Potted Potter

13 Nov

potted-potter-posterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I’m no stranger to the ‘reduced’ format when stage performers decide to condense a very well-known work from its voluminous size down to a few minutes. The final result is often hilarious and you do not need to attempt to read the book afterwards! Take, for example, the many works of William Shakespeare (which the Reduced Shakespeare Company is famous for) or Star Wars (One Man Star Wars). There’re other works too, and when I heard about Potted Potter, I had to be there and drag James Shaw along. He saw the movies, but never read the books. Yes, shame on him!

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Just How Many Times Can John Cleese & Eric Idle Be Together Again at Last, for the Very First time

18 Oct

CleeseAndIdleCartoonBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Eric Idle and John Cleese are “Together Again at Last, for the Very First Time” — that’s the name of their show, and these living legends certainly had me enjoying their quirky comedy live and singing along to the many memorable tunes Idle composed over the years. Cleese, as a producer, recounted how Monty Python formed (it was through fortunate circumstance) and while some of the content is familiar — from his previous tours — to see the two join forces showed just how loved they are by fans.

They talked about the origins of the group and two of their movies: Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Life of Brian near the end of the first act. With Spamalot by the Victoria Operatic Society still fresh in memory, to be reminded of this Arthurian tale not only had me wondering which parts of the films they enjoyed the most. When Cleese talked about what worked cinematically, I get the sense he wants to be more involved in the production of a film. It’s a medium he’s embraced and to hear him praise cinematographer Terry Bedford as to how to comedy should be captured on film, had the movie editor in me take mental notes. His little lecture reminded me in how live skits should really get recorded so nothing is missed. Instead of relying on consistent cuts for close-ups and focusing on one character, a better technique is to go wide, and let the actors do their routine. That is, the camera is better off left to catch the action as a single shot.

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[Victoria, BC] The One Man Mega-Hit Marathon (Star Wars, LotR, Batman)

4 Oct
Charles Ross presenting One Man Lord of the Rings

Charles Ross presenting One Man Lord of the Rings

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Charles Ross will be taking part in University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre’s celebration of 50 glorious years of creating great theatre. During this alumni festivity, he will be performing an exhaustive “One Man” Marathon (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Batman). The fun begins on October 11 and ends on the 17th. There are other shows taking place too, but I’m sure the nerds of Victoria, BC will be there for Ross.

For those who have not seen these shows, I heavily recommend to readers nearby to consider making a trip over to the south-eastern tip of Vancouver Island. Not many people realize this garden city is his home; for those who do not know what this part of the world is like, its beautiful for much of the year because of its varied (mostly British) architectural heritage, temperate climate and laid-back attitude. To adventure here will imitate part of the hero’s journey Ross often puts across in his shows. To discover what that means requires attending a performance.

To learn more about this man and his works, including a look into how he approached developing each of these One Man shows, please look at these past interviews and look at his current works in progress:

(Otaku no Culture) Charles Ross’ One Man Star Wars & Lord of the Rings

(Two Hungry Blokes) One Man Star Wars Does the Dark Knight Trilogy

(Two Hungry Blokes) Will There Be Further Adventures of Ape Man and Fish Boy?

To purchase tickets, please visit the Phoenix Theatre’s web page here. Matinee shows are offered for Star Wars and Batman over the weekend.