Reviewers Douglas Fillmore, Jennifer Bourque and Andrea Kikuchi continue to share their top picks at the Fundy Fringe Festival.
The sixth annual Fundy Fringe Festival is underway in Saint John. The third full day of programming included 20 performances across stages at the BMO Theatre, Sanctuary Theatre, Interaction Concert Hall, NB Museum, Saint John Arts Centre and the Five & Dime.
Saint John fringe bingers Douglas Fillmore, Jennifer Bourque and Andrea Kikuchi have been kind enough to put together another quick recap of the evening’s highlights.
The Disappearance of Scarlett Sky by Cameron Secord
Stop me if you’ve read this before, but memories are a fragile thing. The Disappearance of Scarlett Sky is told from the fractured viewpoint of the narrator, a friend and wanna be boyfriend of Scarlett’s. The trouble is he has a limited source of help from his memory diary and no help at all from his OCD riddled mind past false truths and connective allegories that have nothing to do with reality.
Calling on selected fragments from the diary he recreates a memory, where none remains and repeats it into existence. The week of her disappearance takes on a film noir style as Scarlett’s story of leaving because of a family tragedy sets a black pawl over what might have actually happened to her.
This work is moody, with moments of levity, bound together by pure energy. If you like crime drama, then has the Fringe got a show for you!
***** 5 STARS *****
Baes of Fundy by Hot Garbage Players
The Baes of Fundy performed by the Hot Garbage Players is an improv comedy show that keeps you intrigued until the very end. What is truly amazing is that for each show the viewers will be in for a surprise. Improv comedy allows for a different show every time, and tonight, for my viewing pleasure, the performers put their own spin on “The Disappearance of Scarlett Sky”, another incredible show in the Fundy Fringe Festival. The scenes flowed smoothly together and the performers created a funny, feel good storyline. I found this show to be humorous and thought-provoking and when they called End Scene it was hard to believe it was already over. Baes of Fundy is a must see show!!
**** 4 STARS ****
The Wicked Fountain of Youth by Veronica Steele
The Wicked Fountain of Youth is harrowing, witty, heart wrenching and hilarious. She stays in character for the entire performance – not an easy task when you’re portraying a developmentally delayed teenager with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Parts of this play are unsettling, and at times, the audience was unsure how to react. The story flows effectively from disturbing tales of her childhood (where you can hear a pin drop throughout the theatre) to quippy anecdotes. During those instances, the audience would erupt in laughter with a sense of relief. She ruffles the feathers of political correctness; but does it so poignantly we are all quick to forgive.
This performance is definitely deserving of all of the accolades she has received.
**** 4 STARS ****
Bicycling By Mistake by Tom MacArthur
Part travel memoir, part homage to his wife, Tom MacArthur guides us through his jaunts and misadventures throughout North America, the UK and Japan. Tom is a great storyteller. He is witty and delightful, setting up his punchline’s perfectly as he transitions from one location to the next. I will admit that there were times when it felt like a slideshow after a family trip, but it was thoroughly enjoyable.
***** 4 STARS ****
For a complete list of performances, venues and ticket information (all shows just $10), visit www.fundyfringefestival.com
Fundy Fringe Festival runs until August 25.