Fringe Festival Report
Part 1: June 3 to June 9

Theatre, dance, performance art – you name it, the Fringe has it all

By Luc Archambault

Another year, another Montreal Fringe Festival. Should we expect a good crop? As always, Fringe shows are all gambles, like shooting dice. But in the end, with all shows being staged at least five times, it gives everyone a chance to see a great variety of spectacles. I will be attending thirty shows of the St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival, and this is my first report card for this 27th edition.

Memento Mori (Kaleidoscope Theatre Montreal)

Venue: Espace Freestanding Room
In English
60 minutes

What happens after you die? Are you going straight to Heaven/Hell? Or are you stuck in limbo, waiting to accept your fate? Well, Memento Mori is THE newly dead support group. There you will find solace and a place to air your grievances.

An interesting concept. Good actors, good text, well-rounded show. Not to be missed.


A Woman’s guide to peeing outside and other adventures (Holly Brinkman)

Venue: Pompette
In English
60 minutes

Holly Brinkman takes us on her life’s journey, from BC to Montreal, from a small community to the big city. And yes, she does explain how a woman can pee outside…

A humoristic monologue. With a nice presentable comedienne. Interesting.

A closer look (Novice productions)

Venue: Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, studio Jean-Valcourt
In English
30 minutes

This is the story of a woman who is possessed by a dream world filled with dark visions. These will take on a growing part of her waking life.

Is this a joke? Amateurish at best. Neither compelling nor interesting.

Divided Heart (Allie Weigh Productions)

Venue: MAI, Black Theater Workshop studio
In English
60 minutes

A woman’s view on her children, her life, her sex life, her relationships, her past, her future. With violin and words.

This is a self-psychotherapy session, by a professional psychotherapist, which Allie Weigh is. Is it helpful? For her, certainly. But for the audience ? Hum… not so sure. And the violin is an instrument that needs practice, not just gusto, to be mastered. Interesting, if someone spilling their guts, with all the gory details fully exposed, is your cup of tea, then go for it.

La vie s’t’une autoroute (Les 3 Sombreros)

Venue: Théâre d’Aujourd’hui, salle Jean-Claude Germain
In French
50 minutes

Three friends decide to take a road trip to Disney World, following the breakup between Alexis and Myriam. On their way to Florida, they will confront their past, their visions on success, friendship, love.

Not bad. The strain in the relationships, the twists and turns of this road-trip are well played-out. The dialogue is crisp, savoury. A good bet.

Poet vs Pageant (Telia Nevile)

Venue: MAI, Black Theater Workshop studio
In English
45 minutes

Telia Nevile is an Australian poet who has transgressed the lines between art and the glittering world of beauty pageants. With all the gory details from this plunge into the abyss, with ironic humour and sardonic wit, this is one for the books!

A must-see. A monologue that will transport you to a totally weird world, with tongue in cheek humour, and with an enticing accent.

Adoration (Tantalus)

Venue: MainLine Theatre
In English
60 minutes

A violin teacher commits suicide. Two of his former students reconnect, and share their experiences with their mentor.

Roughly based on Anton Chekov’s The Seagull, this is a complex storyline, mixing timelines, reminiscences, in an almost dreamlike manner. The actors are all very strong, especially Nick Fontaine as professor Konstantin Treplev.

Docile Bodies (Wig in a box)

Venue: MAI
In English
60 minutes

Five women, five soldiers. An adaptation of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (Surveiller et punir : naissance de la prison), this show, combining dance, spoken words and performance art, questions the origin and internalization of power, and how this disturbs gender expression.

A complex subject matter, five excellent actors/dancers, a dense text, many questions raised, and no easily constructed answers. A magnificent performance. A must-see!Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre –

Images: St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival

Read also Wycinka Holzfällen or Woodcutters

Luc Archambault

Luc Archambault
Writer and journalist, globe-trotter at heart, passionate about movies, music, literature and contemporary dance, came back to Montreal to pursue his unrelenting quest for artistic meaning.


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