Tag Archives: 2022

Amit Solanki’s Spiritualarious is Back for Victoria Fringe 2022! One Hilarious Show Left!

3 Sep

Spiritualarious

Anyone who missed seeing Amit Solanki’s Spiritualarious back in 2017 sees it again at the 2022 Victoria Fringe Festival. It’s very chuckle-licious (if that can be a word). That’s because this comedian who is also a Yoga teacher knows how to bring out a smile. In the original programme, “he’s taking the edge out of yoga and bringing the light on where we lost in the west and now east as well.”

In this year’s guide, this performance is described as “a show looking at the funny side of yoga in western society,” and I can pick up on how he’s refined this act so that audiences can laugh along. This update includes observations about everything that’s happened in his life then. With no surprise, he speaks about the pandemic; He talks about his time in India, where it’s a load worse, and yet he managed to survive through it all–including his parents wanting to see him get hitched.

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Hollow Hound Arts Collective’s Ouroboros Winds Its Way Through Victoria Fringe 2022

1 Sep

Ouroboros

Intrepid Theatre‘s Fringe Theatre Festival never fails to deliver an absolutely unique show. Sometimes, it’s a challenge to understand because it’s a product that doesn’t have mainstream appeal. When the play is about the Ouroboros, I had to see Hollow Hound Art Collective‘s show named after the mystical snake that eats its own tail. It is being performed at Theatre SKAM‘s satellite studio on 849 Fort St and it’s an imtimate space for such a confidential-type show.

The playbill simply describes the show as:

For centuries, weary wanderers have visited the ‘Shrine of the Ouroboros’ to trade their stories for a new beginning. The Ouroboros must now recall which memories are their own and which were told to them by others. What tale would you tell the Ouroboros?

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The Sci-Fi Sampler is Everything a Nerd Wants at the 2022 Victoria Fringe Festival

28 Aug
The Sci-Fi Sampler

SPOILER ALERT

The Sci-Fi Sampler is a very loving tribute to the genre by Outpost 31. It’s playing at the Victoria Fringe Festival, and it is a collection of stories inspired by cinema, fiction, and television! The set design is minimal, and to help audiences see what’s going on, the backgrounds are projected onto a huge movie theatre sized screen. The video production that goes with the first story is very snazzy and more often than not, I kept on being reminded of Frank Miller’s splashy Sin City design.

In act one, “The Back with Two Beasts” (written by David Elendune), we meet Blair, the host to a virtual reality video game which Emma and Dave play in to solve their marital problems. The software helps them out, but when we get a huge self-aware in-joke (regarding the name of the game) referring to what to expect, I had to chuckle as these tales are intermixed with their story.

These narratives look at existentialism in clones and robots. In another work, we are watching what some alien race is planning. The last two narratives hint at a thread linking all these narratives together. Although they were written independently, the writer in me senses a greater scheme which unites everything in The Sci-Fi Sampler.

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You Can’t Dodge This! Badges and Bullets Hilarious Debut At The Victoria Fringe Festival 2022

26 Aug

Badges and Bullets

Badges and Bullets

Victoria Fringe Theatre 2022
Roxy Theatre (2657 Quadra Street)

The show must go on! And just how well Vincent (Rob Friesen) manages the talents for Badges and Bullets depends on who you ask. This old time radio drama began as an idea to put on the tuner, but after some talk between co-creators Mitch and Jo Barnes with director Terry Rowsell, the idea to make it a live show for Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival was green lit!

“This is our gift to the Victoria Theatre Community because I tell you, we’ve had lots of support,” said Mitch of HB Productions theatre company.

I wasn’t expecting a similar experience as Casino Royale (review) back in 2015; I saw this performance at the Victoria Fringe. The difference is that instead of seeing a complete radio play from one perspective; we have two. The main story concerns how each of these talents are dreaming big. Charlotte (Jo Barnes) desires to be recognised in Hollywood, and Allen (Gerald Schieven) worries his work with this little radio station may tarnish his reputation elsewhere. Another subplot concerns the foley guy, Tom (Jesse Setka) at odds with Allen, and the feeling is mutual. Had this 45-minute performance been longer, I’m sure it could have been developed into a television show.

Meanwhile, Vince, also the producer of Badges and Bullets, cares more about keeping his operation afloat. However, when the lead. Eddie (Mitch) is supposed to carry the show, it’ll be difficult. He’s far worse than Robert Downey Jr. when he was in love with the bottle at the early part of his career. Add on top us, a real audience watching, not only do we become part of the experience, but also realise a few dirty secrets…

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Hungry Ghost Festival 2022. Something Old and Something New in Movies That Chew Up the Concept.

20 Aug

Hungry Ghost FestivalSome years seem less spirited when films released near Hungry Ghost Festival offer nothing new. In entertainment, producers aren’t obligated to make a film during this time, as we get to see them year-round. Now that we are a week into this event, it’s time to consider what is available to watch–a mix of old and new. In the past two years, Ghost Lab (Thailand), and Irul: Ghost Hotel (Malaysia) and Umma (Korean-American) are three works worth checking out. The links providedd here go to their respective trailers on YouTube.

I won’t say too much about them, as what I’d reveal would be laden with spoilers. They are worth the time to catch, and they certainly had me considering going to sleep with the lights on. Thankfully they have a State-side VOD/Streaming release. Ghost Lab and Umma are on Netflix, and Irul is on Amazon Prime USA.

To round out this spooky list of four titles to check out, what I offer is a fond look back at an old, underappreciated Stephen Chow film, Out of the Dark, which deals with problematic ghosts. I feel this film truely represents everything the Hungry Ghost Festival is all about–placating and respecting those entities said to wander our world. When these spirits are out for vengence, just what can mortals do to turn things around? In this film’s case, turn to Leon (Chow), and hope this “professional” can bust some ghosts! Unfortunately, he’s a few cards short of a full deck, and he’s not quite the expert everyone makes him out to be.

Here, Mr. Li (Chi-Fai Chow) is scared that his late mother (Suk-Mui Tam) will return to haunt him. She blames him for her death, and that’s everything someone hoping their elder’s spirit is at peace doesn’t want! Add on top Kwan (Karen Mok) and some inept security guards who hire Leon to deal with this haunting, and everything that goes wrong will!

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