Choosing Fringe Shows

For years I only went to the Fringe when I had a friend who would do the research and tell me what to go to – and would stand in line with me – and go out for beer afterwards.

Then one year I was given a pass (oh, how lovely that was). I’d done some pro bono consulting and it arrived in the mail as a total surprise.  I could go to anything – so I didn’t take choosing as such a serious endeavour. Along the way – of course, you frequent fringers know this already – I discovered the rich diversity that is Fringe.

If you want something of a sure bet, you just look for the ones that say they won the best of the fringe in Edinburgh or London (even London, Ontario – which by the way I’ve attended – it’s pretty good).

Feeling adventurous? Go for the Bring Your Own Venue or Site-Specific ones. Me – i plan to prioritize a few must-see/safe-bets and then chat in line-ups about the byov and site specific ones.

But I’m totally open to your telling me why I shouldn’t miss out on one of these! I did 4 of the site-specific ones last year and loved three out of four.  The other one I considered the only dud out of all 10 I attended. Turned out the folks were accepted and then realized they didn’t really have time (or interest?) to turn their great idea into an actual performance/production.  disappointing. (They seemed disappointed we turned up too – I think they were hoping they could cancel and go catch something themselves.)

Here are my “sure bet”  picks so far for 2012:

More Power to Your Knitting, Nell! – most outstanding performance – London

The Abyss Burrow – best actress award London 2011

God is a Scottish Drag Queen – best solo show at Victoria; all sold out. (and I like Scotland, drag queens and god, too – so it’s a winner in my books)

Utopia  – past pieces have won pick of the Fringe

Wonderheads – by those who brought you (but not me – I never got to see it last year) Grim and Fisher

The Water is Wide – Best of London 2004, Vancouver 2007, Winnipeg 2008

Guernica – love the idea of it.

Maybe List

Hanfuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards – Went to Powell Street Festival so liking Japanese art right now. and the image is intriguing

The First Canadian President of the United States – Anyone but Sarah Palin, I say.

Grey Matter

Opera for Heathens – I usually like non-mainstream opera more than mainstream, so this sounds good to me.

The following picked largely from a very quick look at titles – Anyone want to make a pitch for them – or something else. I have to choose.

Site Specific

You Are Here: A Granville Island Audiodyssey

Psychopomp – Marketplace Docks

Tales Told by Idiots

BYOV

Til Death Do We Part: The Six Wives of Henry VIII, A One-Woman Play

In the Time of the Dream Warrior

Vincent

So you can see the problem with The Fringe – so many plays; so little time. Let’s talk online or in line.

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