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JOSH’S REVIEW: The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy @ Ottawa Fringe 2013

The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy is filled with zany and fast-paced humour while also being one of the most technically ambitious shows at this year’s Fringe. If you’re into nerd culture at all, you should check this one out. Even if you’re not, there’s still plenty of solid laughs and performances for you to appreciate.

Should you see it?

FourBefore going into The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy (henceforth called The Bureau to save time), I was intrigued by the premise. I’m a big fan of Doctor WhoSliders, and many other sci-fi series. Thus, I figured this show would be right up my alley, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Bureau has several things that make my inner-nerd smile: dimension-hopping, secret government departments, evil robots, and more. But there’s more than all that to The Bureau, and I think even casual sci-fi fans, or just fans of theatre, will find something to enjoy in it.

While having various sci-fi concepts is great, any show needs solid performances to make it work, and The Bureau is no exception. Every character brings something fun to the table, especially Lexi Voice (Laura Hall), Ashley Sheridan(Meghan Murphy), and the scene-stealing Bob Shirley (Ron Langton). The interactions between the characters is great to watch, and it’s clear everyone is having a fun time with the piece.

The Bureau also deserves praise for its ambitious set-changes. As Allan Mackey’s play involves jumping between dimensions, each world needs to look at least somewhat different, and this show makes sure of that. While the set-up in between scenes can cause a lull, the recorded voice-overs that play during them help keep the pace from slowing down too much. There were some minor snafoos on opening night, but nothing that seriously hindered the show. If anything, I was impressed with the intricacy of the set-up for each new scene.

Overall, I’d highly recommend The Bureau. If you’re looking for fast-paced fun, then you should definitely check this out.

But these are just my thoughts. If you’ve seen The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy, tell me what you thought in the comments section below!

Disclosure: The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy was written and directed by Allan Mackey. The same Allan Mackey who is editor and lead reviewer for Production Ottawa. Joshua Chenoweth has had no prior involvement with The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy, comes to the show with no foreknowledge, and has been instructed to be as honest and critical as necessary in his review. That said, the association does exist so feel free to take the review with a grain of salt and check your other sources. (APT613, for example, has posted this review.)

The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy is running on June 26th, 29th, and 30th in Studio Leonard-Beaulne (venue 4). For more information, please visit our preview page.

Image for this article provided by David Pasho via the Ottawa Fringe.



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