[Victoria Fringe 2023] Barry Potter and the Magic of Wizardry isn’t the Same ol’ Same Ol’

There’s more than just a parody going on in delivering what Potterheads love from the WB franchise in this Fringe wonder titled Barry Potter and the Magic of Wizardry.

Barry Potter Throws ConfettiAustralian Comedian-Magician Tim Motley has a new act called Barry Potter and the Magic of Wizardry, and thankfully his famous Dirk Darrow personality is not being retired! This new persona is related to the famous Harry of a certain J.K. Rowling fame (or should that be Warner Bros.?), and what’s presented is a look at everything that’s been made to date; even the stage play about the Cursed Child is along with Fantastic Beasts. And the way he brings this world together is simply marvellous.

Although the show is familiar, using the same repertoire of magical trickery to engage audiences and also the sealed envelope trick, the way this talent makes this show different is with his rapid-fire delivery of puns. They are moments that would even impress Tom McGrath (who voices Skipper in Penguins of Madagascar). Timing is everything and Motley is a master. The only reason I make this comparison is that I saw the DreamWorks movie two days prior. I noticed the word play with names was exactly the same!

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[Victoria Fringe 2023] Even “June Bug” Needs to Grow Up

June Bug is a thoughtful work that ups the ante in what The Peanuts comic strips would do when concerning the kids dealing with adult situations.

June Bug Ragamuffin ProductionsAshley Chodat is a playwright who wants to help empower audiences. Although she went from performer to educator in the performing arts quite fast, anything she produces is worth noting. Her show, simply titled, “June Bug,” may seem like a love letter to alien conspiracies and X-Files, but there’s more to this multi-layered story.

Here, Juniper Myers is telling us about her life. She’s 11 years old, and she dearly loves her grandmother. The two are inseparable. Mom is trying her best to keep this family afloat because there’s no father around. Little is said about him and I suspect he doesn’t exist. But as for grandmama, I brought everything we wanted to know about her to vivid life. They both love Patrick Swayze and watching the movie Dirty Dancing, and despite protests from mum, nothing ever changes.

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[Victoria Fringe 2023] Is it Bad There’s New Earth Bandits? Welcome to the Future, If You’re Brave!

You’ll get plenty of exercise walking up and down the hills around Macauly Point Park to discover where the New Earth Bandits are hiding in SNAFU’s latest.

New Earth Bandits SNAFUFrom Interstellar Elder to Kitt and Jane (both shows I’ve seen and reviewed), The SNAFU Society of Unexpected Spectacles has an all new show! I’m not sure if they’ll tour this because it’s very site specific, but for anyone visiting Victoria, BC‘s Macaulay Point Park, they’ll be in for a treat! Here, their latest, New Earth Bandits, sends visitors (theatre attendees) to the future where a colony of humans, mutants, and animals kind of belligerently live together.

Also, I found space aliens! They didn’t join the visitors (theatre attendees) to figure out what’s going on. Instead, we’re told the year is 7023. In where we started, the portal to which everyone steps through takes us there and what’s presented is a glimpse of what may be this planet’s last dance, if we don’t change our ways.

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[Victoria Fringe 2023] When the Phantom Pain is Real, What Else can a Lost Soul Feel?

Some memories should not be best left buried, but dealt with carefully. In Sarah, Mo, and We’re All Friends’ theatrical presentation, Phantom Pain, maybe it’s best not to completely ignore it….

Phantom Pain Promotional Image This year the theatre company, ‘Sarah, Mo, and We’re All Friends,’ presents a brilliant late Victorian-age ghost story known as Phantom Pain. And when Theatre SKAM is offering the studio space for them to present this performance as a work in progress, I’m sure there’ll be more shows to come as the rough edges are ironed out, and maybe get a revision or two. I even have my own suggestions (which I’ll address at the end).

In this story, a talented painter, Constance (Annalyn Kind), has not gotten over the loss of Fenella (Becky Miner). These two are soul mates. Sadly, consumption would claim the life of the blonde socialite. Their love is eternal. When they first met, the attraction was instant! Although that would form a rift with a mutual friend, Daisy (Tamra Marie), who was the girlfriend at the time, nobody could truly stay mad forever.

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[Victoria Fringe 2023] Renfield, or Dining at the Bughouse – A Review

Sometimes, you just have to dive deep into the madness that created Renfield, or Dining at the Bughouse as it takes a bite at what created him, even before meeting Dracula!

Renfield or, Dining at the BughouseBram Stoker’s Dracula has left an indelible impression on pop culture, and there are many ways to read into the tale. For playwright Bill Zaget (who also performed this show at Montreal Fringe), what he’s taken from it is a new way to present the madman who declared this vampire, “Master!” In Renfield, or Dining at the Bughouse, this performer gives this character a life that’s different from what I recall from the book. By stripping away the world, what he recounts of his childhood (which has never been told before) is haunting.

While some people may get bothered by the allusions to child abuse and sexual misconduct, thankfully it’s just fiction. The story is told from the point of view of him regressing to a point of view of an eight-year-old. At other times, an insectoid perspective (basically, what he ate) gets used. As a result, I can’t help but be reminded of classical myths where these bugs are revered and even feared for one reason or another. They often lead to a chrysalis, a metamorphosis, to a new state of mind. What Zaget offers is mesmerising when he gets to that point with the stories presented within a story.

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