Tuesday Night at Fringe

I kicked off my night at VCM Wood Hall for the premiere show of Little Lady. The show is performed and written by Sandrine Lanford, a Cirque du Soleil performer and Celine Dion dancer transformed into a performer. The play focuses on Little Lady and her metamorphosis through a tale about society’s obsession with image. A physical theatre piece with some clowning elements, the audience is a roomful of doctors observing Little Lady as she moves silently through the piece.

I was unsure what to expect when I walked into Wood Hall. I had read the words “Cirque du Soleil” and “Celine Dion dancer” in the description and expected some sort of dance/circus-like performance from an incredibly talented performer. What I got was even better.

The show begins with a film reel that introduces us to Little Lady. The lights dim and we are in the room that she has been kept and observed from while she sleeps on the floor. She wakes up and the first thing I notice is her face. She has clowning make-up on and large Elton Johnesque glasses that give a sort of circus/carnival feel to her very lovable character. The show is quite interactive with the audience in the sense that we are  “doctors”  observing her.

There are three parts to the play, each showing a change in her character. From start to end, it is impossible not to fall in love with Little Lady. She does not speak throughout the entire piece but through her movement and playful curiousity, we get to know her and sympathize with her character. The story itself takes a look into our obsession with image as a society. A lot of plays try to take on some sort of theme or greater meaning pertaining to society and it’s flaws and sometimes it comes off as cheesy or too obvious, but not Little Lady. She looked at image through the lens of someone who was not a part of our world and completely innocent and child-like. I think because of this, the message gets through in a way that is thoughtful and not too in your face.

I think everyone could fall in love with Little Lady.

I went to the Vic Event Centre next for Hip.Bang! Improv. The show was great, the actors worked really well with each other, and the audience loved it. It was a full house and there was a laugh a minute. The two actors, Tom and Devin, took a word suggestion from the audience (ferocious was the choice yesterday) and off of that word made up short sketches and characters that occasionally reoccured throughout the show. The show was pure improv at it’s best, and is definitely worth checking these guys out. The show sold out last night, so be sure to grab your tickets!

Lastly, I made my way to the Downtown Activity Centre for Dirk Darrow: NcSSi (Not completely Serious Supernatural investigator). The show is written and performed by Tim Motley all the way from Melbourne, Australia. The show is a somewhat spoof on film noir, where the audience is brought into the world of 1937 to solve a murder (bom bom bom!). The show is part comedy, part magic, and described in the Fringe program as “Think Sin City meets X-Files meets Naked Gun.”

The show is very audience interactive. Motley has a very Naked Gun style of comedy that I think is accessible to everyone. He kind of spoofs the film noir genre, at times he seems serious with it, but mostly it is a very accurate and hilarious look into a 1937 murder mystery. He uses the audience to help solve the mystery, which gives the show a very intimate experience I don’t think you can get at many other shows. He does a great job at being able to make fun of himself and connect even through the silliness of most of the plot. He kind of lost my attention close to the end of the show, but altogether it was very fun. The show practically sold out and the audience definitely had a great time. This is a fun show that won’t disappoint!

Stay tuned as I will be posting an interview later today about Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards premiering tonight at Metro Studio. If you want more information on any of the shows in today’s post, click on their accompanying photos or visit www.victoriafringe.com.
– Phoenix

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