Life at Fringe, Day 5 Recap

Here we are on Monday, the fifth day of Fringe, and if Fringe wasn’t exciting enough, four new shows opened last night.

Having trouble with the video? Watch directly on YouTube instead.

In day 5′s Life at Fringe vlog, we chat with a couple international artists starting with Minnesota’s Katherine Glover who’s touring her one-woman show, Dead Wrong. Then it’s back to the Emerald Isles (in spirit) when we chat with Paddy McCullagh about his game show-styled R U Smarter than an Irishman and his time in Ottawa. From there, we talk to local artist, Nick Alain, who is without a show this year and working the front desk of Arts Court, and we close out with a lovely, turning to morbid, conversation with two of the wonderful actors in one of this year’s standout shows: The Suicide (Caitlinn Corbett, Hannah Gibson Fraser).

If you’re not familiar with the vlog “style” of video-journalism, see the brief note in day one’s article for an explanation.

Melanie Gall, from More Power to Your Knitting, Nell.

Kicked off today with the 5pm of More power to Your Knitting, Nell and what I’ll say is Melanie Gall has a wonderfully powerful voice. If you like knitting, or WWII stories, or old-timey type music, or any combination of those, you’ll really like this. Sit in the front, you might even get to knit. After that, we did some vlogging, meeting and talking to all the wonderful people you saw in the video above. I even had to cut some great bits so the video would be under 12 minutes, which I think is the absolute maximum these vlogs should be.

Next was to catch two of the shows that opened last night. Sandrine Lafond’s Little Lady, and Ken Godmere’s Vernus says Surprise. Little Lady was a lovely little clown/movement piece right out of the circus and Sandrine Lafond has more control over her body than anybody I’ve ever seen. Vernus says SURPRISE marked the homecoming for Ken Godmere who started a major summer tour in London last week. The show is a truly remarkable performance piece that, not entirely unlike Little Lady, was largely clown/mime/comedy/movement based and saw Ken Godmere say nary two words the whole show. The difference with Vernus is the intricately designed sound scape that provides an entire world of characters and situations for Vernus to interact with. Both of these are shows that were well-hyped before they opened, sold out their first shows (and probably many others), and lived up to what they promised. There really are no shows at Fringe like these two and if you plan on checking them out, get your tickets early.

Another thing that made Vernus’s open special was that it  was a who’s who of the people in Ottawa theatre. Every third, if not every second person, was an artist you’re likely to have seen at some point on stage. It was really great to see this level of community support and it evoked some very emotional moments as Ken Godmere addressed the crowd at the end of the show, teary and happily stating that he now had this experience to take with him on the rest of his tour.

Closed the night with Pollux Dance’s Heterllectual. It started off slow but eventually did take off and have some really great dance along with a few nice narrative moments. Non-dance fans won’t dig it at all, but anybody who’s into dance probably will.

And with that we’re just about at the half-way point of Fringe. After today (day 6), there will be less in front of us than there is behind us. What’s still on your must see list? Tell me in the comments below.

Final note: We’ve ultimately decided to forgo video reviews because of some technical issues. One being that it would prove logistically impossible to produce and especially upload/process fifty-two videos in any timely manner without a much larger team of video guys than team me. Especially with the second reason being that apparently it is important to get at least some sleep every night. Even for me. Who knew? What does this mean? It means that the flood gates will open and you’ll see more than fifty review go up on the site for over thirty shows over the next forty-eight hours in traditional print form. Along with photos and exclusive video promo spots. Daily vlogs and recaps will keep coming with some special stuff planned along those lines.

Allan Mackey

About Allan Mackey

Allan Mackey is editor-in-chief of Production Ottawa, which, really, is too fancy a title. He also acts as show producer for Should You See It, making sure you get your answer in just about two minutes every time. He writes stuff and occasionally turns that stuff into movies. Keep being awesome!

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  2. [...] to people like Tess Mc Manus, Christina Bryson and Margaret Evraire,  Matt Minter, Bryan Cook, Hannah Gibson Fraser and Caitlin Corbett, and of course the many folks from Dead Unicorn Ink and Natalie Joy Quesnel were among my Fringe [...]

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