Life at Fringe, Wrap-up.

So it comes to pass that all things end. And in the ending of the thing, how was it?

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In this final Life at Fringe video (for 2012), I turn the camera on my co-reviewers and find out about their Fringe experience. This was effectively Kurt’s first year hardcore Fringing, and Fringe he did, seeing 43 shows in total. Find out what they thought were the standout shows, performer and moments in the video above, then read on to find out what I thought.

It really is something to think that it all started only two weeks ago. It both seems like both yesterday and ages ago. In between all the vlogging, video editing, and getting coverage online here — and of course that pesky life stuff outside the Fringe bubble — I managed to see 32 of the 52 shows going around. Of the ones I missed, the two I’m most sorry about are; Jeff Leard’s Gametes and Gonads and 411 Dramaturgy’s Hip Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos.

Easily, the top show of the 32 I saw at the 2102 Ottawa Fringe (and maybe ever), was Little Orange Man. Natalie Joy Quesnel and I talk about it in the Life at Fringe, day 11 vlog, where she sums it up perfectly, or you can read my review. My two and three are A MacSummer Night’s Dream — which after I saw it a second time I was ready to raise it to a five just for the sheer joy it enbued — and Vernus Says SURPRISE! Rounding out my top five are Donkey Derby and White Noise.

Five other shows were four rated by me - informally, that means “very, very impressive” - those being Little Lady, Space Mystery from Outerspace, The Suicide, Wanderlust, and Breaking Rank. Hopefully you got to see at least some of those because I’m sure you wouldn’t have left disappointed. (Note: Space Mystery actually was actually five-rated -informally meaning mind-blowingly awesome- because of its hold-nothing-back production values that were unlike anything you usually see at Fringe.)

You can, naturally, read the linked reviews to find out my thoughts on any of those shows.

Talking about performers (aside from the one-person shows listed in my top five, who are givens), standouts to me this year were Ray Besharah in Lonely Bear, Ainsley Shannon in Danti-Dan (especially for her age), and the cast of The Suicide, particularly Victoria Luloff.

Biggest surprise of Fringe 2012 for me was White Noise. This was a show that from its description wasn’t on my “see it” list. It was only after talking to Christina and Margaret from Twisted by Design that I got interested in the show, and it became one of my fave shows this year.

One of the things I particularly loved about this year’s Fringe was getting to meet a lot of the artists involved in the fest through the Life at Fringe vlogs and all the other promo I was doing. (I met artists from twenty-one shows the day before Fringe alone.) Meeting and talking 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 highlights this year. The list goes on.

And I guess there isn’t much more to say. In the end, between Matthew, Kurt, and myself, we did review every one of the fifty-two shows at Fringe, many of them multiple times, for a total of ninety-four reviews posted to Production Ottawa. That’s along with twenty-four exclusive video promo bytes (embedded in the reviews), our mega-preview, highlights from the media launch, the Life at Fringe vlog series, and three feature conversations — all totaling just over two hours and four minutes of video. Phew.

One final note, to eliminate any confusion, the Life at Fringe series of recaps were written very editorial-style and were opinion-based. Capturing life out there and talking about our thoughts and experiences in the moment. A proper non-editorial type article will get published later this week. 

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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