When Ingrid Hansen and Kathleen Greenfield’s highly acclaimed Little Orange Man returned to Victoria Fringe this year, my friend and I had to see it. We were both thrilled with this entertaining, imaginative and well produced play.
We went to a 4:45pm showing on Friday and sat in the fourth row from the front. The Downtown Activity Centre was an unfortunate venue for Little Orange Man as most of the show happens near the stage floor. The seats slanted slightly upwards from the stage, meaning our view was often obscured by those in front of us.
The one-woman show began with the young girl Kitt (Ingrid Hansen) inside a suitcase. She seemed shy at first, but before I knew it she was using her lunch to tell us an un-sanitized, old Danish fairy tale; The type where parents betray their daughter and body parts get cut off.
As the show continued, we learned about Kitt, her beloved bedstefar (grandpa) and her always busy parents. We then found out that Kitt brought us all together for an experiment to bring ourselves into each other’s dreams, with the final aim of helping her and her bedstefar.
Ingrid Hansen played the role of Kitt beautifully, bringing together her skills as an actor, puppeteer and musician. Though the show is 75 minute long, it was kept interesting through the use of puppets and sets for puppets as well as live songs, audience participation and Kitt’s high-octane personality.
There was a lot going on in this play, and I love that I am still trying to tease more meanings out of it. Little Orange Man is about taking the time to build caring relationships and treasuring your cultural and familial stories. I also loved how Little Orange Man questioned the ways children, the elderly and those labelled as different or disordered are marginalized. Most of all, this play reminded me of the value of creativity and dreaming.
I highly recommend Little Orange Man, which plays at the Downtown Activity Centre. Their last two shows will be on September 2nd at 1:45pm and 8:45pm. The 8:45pm showing will include sign language interpretation. For more information visit snafudance.com.