Fringe Picks: Part 3

6 Jul

The hits keep rolling in at the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival!


Playwright Alexander Offord, this year’s Best New Play Contest winner, offers up a delightfully scathing and darkly comic parable about the sins of Canada’s resource industry, neo-colonialism, the role of gender-based power in the corporate rat race, poverty, and a handful of other controversial topics for good measure. Set in the regional office of a Canadian silver mining corporation operating out of a unspecified African nation, Offord sets up the story as a cat and mouse game between LeBlanc, a young hard-headed female lawyer flown out by the firm’s HQ to investigate allegations of rape on the part of the mine’s private security personnel, and Beamish, an evasive and quick-tongued PR guy tasked with keeping press and public scrutiny to a minimum. However their motives don’t remain straightforward for long, and as the situation outside the office grows increasingly unstable, so too do the pair inside. Nicole Wilson is admirably intimidating as LeBlanc, and Sean Sullivan is a treat to watch as the slimy and feeble Beamish.

bard_fiction.web_-250x250Bard Fiction

First, a warning; those who have never seen Pulp Fiction may very well leave this production scratching their heads. Those who have only seen it once, or perhaps twice, will likely appreciate it. Those, however, who know it inside and out will find endless delight in Montreal-based Beyond the Mountain’s inventive Elizabethan adaptation of Tarantino’s modern classic. Almost every aspect of the film is given a hybridized treatment; costumes, weaponry, and food are all yanked back 400 years while still bearing a easily recognizable resemblance to the original – even the legendary soundtrack is recreated by a lone lute player. The dialogue, crafted by Aaron Greer, Ben Tallen & Brian Watson-Jones, is impressively Shakespearian – not only in style but wit as well – and the sizeable troupe deliver the famous (and now slightly more floral) lines with the same tone and inflection as the original cast. Sure, the show is essentially one giant gimmick, but it’s a gimmick that is very well executed and clearly comes from a place of love for both the Bard and the film.

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