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Celebrating 200 Years of Frankenstein with Theatre Inconnu

26 Sep

41410648_2348320888527877_1610334705587060736_oTheatre Inconnu
1923 Fernwood Rd
Victoria, BC

Sept 25 – Oct 13

Ticket Prices:
$14 Regular,
$10 Seniors and Students

Many variations of Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein have graced the media over the years. The original tale was published in 1818, and some years after, the first adaptation appeared on stage five years after. Love for this work was immediate, and to know the author saw Richard Brinsley Peake‘s adaptation, Presumption; or, the Fate of Frankenstein (1823) and gave her seal of approval says something.

When this year marks the 200th anniversary, many celebrations are taking place all over the world as Halloween approaches. I am sure she would appreciate the show happening in the garden city of Victoria, British Columbia. Writer/auteur David Elendune‘s version plays up the Gothic and director Ian Case makes the story about Victor Frankenstein far more intense. Together, they have more than twenty years of experience in how to craft tales of terror for a live audience. Both are well-respected names in this town and produced shows for the Victoria Fringe Festival or at Craigdarroch Castle.

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Where forth art thou, Cornelius & Titania? A Fringe Theatre Review

15 Sep

  • Played at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival

If William Shakespeare and Ricky Gervais were to meet, I am sure the play they would create together would be like Pamela Bethel‘s Cornelius & Titania or A Tragedy of the Commons (A Comedy). The bureaucracy found in many an office, middle-management, higher management—whatever the case may be, is handled by Cornelius (Tallas Munro). He’s accepted the fact he will never appear in Hamlet, whenever it is performed. The words he set on paper created real people. That is, they have souls. Existence is fleeting. Without reciting the words from the bard’s own hand, the performer is not channelling the spirit of those characters he created.

When Titania (Christina Patterson) gets replaced by hologram technology, this Faerie Queene is at a loss. I can only imagine how the stage play she is from would look with laser projections and robots taking over. This gentle breeze tries to adjust to “office” life, waiting for the chance to return. Magic no longer works because it’s not in the pages of this show I was watching. Other characters like Hecate get a mention, which leads me to believe the “real world” is set in the future, where computer programs have replaced many human performers. Shades of The Congress can be felt here.

This show offers a few satirical moments, not only with what Shakespeare’s work represents but also with whom controls life. The fax machine is the only interface to the real world. For a moment, I thought the Moirai are at work. They handle the threads of destiny which bind many a person, even those who are fictionalized.

Perhaps I’m reading more into this work than in what Brethel intended. Her characterizations of these titular characters are not without a few moments of pop culture familiarity. From the 70s sitcom, Bewitched, I felt Patterson’s portrayal of Titania had a touch of Samantha Stephens spunky attitude. Munro’s steadfastness has nothing to compare to. His gift for character voices in the play’s start had me wondering if he’ll be auditioning for Jim Henson Company. In all seriousness, this emerging talent is worth following.

In this void where they exist, The Bureau, they simply keep busy with mundane tasks. I’m sure a mythos exists, but that would require a follow-up tale. This one-off is sadly that, and I feel it should at least tour the Pacific Northwest Fringe Theatre circuit. With this experimental project, I can see the potential for it to grow or evolve into a web series. Bethel is an accomplished playwright and most of her shows have played at select festivals around the world. Should this sleeper hit find a following, I’m sure she will fashion a follow-up. My curiousity is peaked.

4 Stars out of 5

Ed’s Top Three Comedic Picks Coming to 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival

7 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Fringe theatre enthusiasts need not fret! Just days after the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival ended, not everyone is going to rest. The fun continues on the mainland, in Vancouver, BC!  This event has started and far be it from me to not plug both! I saw these three shows in the Victoria show, and these talents are certainly worth following! I offer my top three picks to look at in the stand-up comedy world. The titles will take you to venue and ticket purchases.

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Angels & Aliens are not all that Ancient, Fringe Review

5 Sep

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Continues at the Vancouver Fringe Festival 2018 (Sept 6-14)

Existentialism gets a huge boost with Angels & Aliens, a play I saw at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival. this play by Jeff Leard and Sydney Hayduk tackles an age-old question of where did we come from and if we are being manipulated by a greater force, hence the title. No Ancient Aliens here. A theory on how life is not simply binary (plagued with yes and nos) is implied.

The next time I play Sim City, I will have to be careful in which window I look in on. Here, the game is called iBang. The players are Jeff and Syd, playing opposing sides in this game—angels and aliens are guiding humanity to peaceful coexistence. The characters in the digital universe are also Jeff and Syd. In real life, they have a “domestic” squabble and how they deal is like the game they are playing. Shades of The Matrix can be found here.

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