The Sci-Fi Sampler also includes soft elements of horror, and I’m glad it deals with other aspects of the genre that defines speculative fiction.
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.
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.
Outpost 31‘s theatrical productions are a regular feature at the Victoria Fringe Festival, and I hope room is always going to be made for their shows. This year will see them expanding beyond, with their take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at Theatre Inconnu. Their productions have a wonderful sense of connecting with the sensibilities from the era to which they are set in. With Winnie the Pooh, children were hiding from the chaos of World War I; the stories they were telling each other saw stuffed dolls come to life. To present Casino Royale with sounds effects recreated live made me revisit old time radio. Leer simply made Hell look sexy.
This year, this theatre company is looking at everything Sir Arthur Conan Doyle imbued into the character of Sherlock Holmes. Was he just simply overzealous? Was he mad? Just what makes this character tick? Just who he is gets explored for half of the play. From his first meeting of him to those final days, apparently, M15 (a secret service, and yes, from James Bond) is asking where did he disappear off to? Through flashbacks, the story unfolds as a trip through memory lane.
Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra Street
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!”
LOCATION: Downtown Activity Centre 755 Pandora, Victoria, BC V8W 1N9
SHOWTIMES: Wed Aug 31, 9:45pm Sat Sep 3, 6:45pm Sun Sep 4, 4:45pm
The 2016 Victoria Fringe Festival production of Winnie the Pooh & Tales of 100 Acre Wood is simply wonderful. Children can enjoy seeing the bedtime pyjama party of Pooh Bear, Rabbit, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and Christopher Robin recounting the tales from A. A. Milne‘s 1926 publication. Literary enthusiasts (mostly me) can read into the context being provided to make this production a look into troubled times for the era poignant. Award-winning Victoria local, playwright David Elendune and director Ian Case made a show that’s a delight to seen by all. This team known as Outpost 31 was also involved in last year’s Victoria Fringe Festival show, Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale.
I was particularly enthralled by the world that frames the story. The vintage radio made me ga-ga over the fact that this show will be a period piece. The set design is beautifully period. The framing narrative sets the tone: the London Blitz is happening, and Britain is facing difficult times. The citizens of this country are finding creative ways to cope, and the children we meet — whom there’s only one we know by name, Chris Robin (Ellen Law), faces the most difficult challenge while sheltered at a hospital.