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The Fringe Festival has hit Vancouver.
Tired of being forced to sit in front of a screen when you want some entertainment? The 27th annual Vancouver Fringe Festival offers an alternative—real people. For the price of a pair of movie tickets and some popcorn, you can watch a few shows and experience some live action entertainment.
This year the festival features over 700 performances by 89 different groups over the course of 11 days. Attendance for the theatre festival has been steadily increasing over the years and last year’s attendance reached over 30,000. The festival is growing both in popularity and size, even expanding beyond Granville Island into East Vancouver for some of the acts.
If you’re trying to decide on a show to attend, the sheer number of options may seem overwhelming, but here is an overview of some acts you might want to check out.
Nita Bowerman in ‘Wreckage’. (Image: Vancouver International Fringe Festival)
The Fringe Festival started allowing artists to create outdoor site-specific shows 15 years ago. The BYOV (bring your own venue) concept creates an opportunity to enjoy the combination of Granville Island’s outdoor spaces with the experience of theatre.
Some of the shows include, Duck Off on a duck pond, Wreckage on a raft, and even Stay Away from my Boat @$$hole, which features a bridge.
Fringe is BC’s largest theatre festival, with the goal of becoming North America’s most International festival. Check out some of the international artists in town performing: British comic, and slam poet Rob Gee (FRUITCAKE), fellow Brit Jem Rolls (Jem Rolls IS PISSED OFF) and Martin Dockery (The Surprise) out of Brooklyn, New York.
Peter ‘n’ Chris and the Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel. (Image: Vancouver International Fringe Festival)
After 27 years, there will always be festival favourites. They’re the go-to artists that bring in the audiences and return year after year. Jacques Lalonde will be celebrating his quarter-century mark with Vancouver Fringe with Jacques and Awe and Night of the B Movie.
The comedy duo of Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson return this year, with Peter ‘n’ Chris and the Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel. And Ryan Gladstone, a self-proclaimed “fringe superstar” will be performing his one-man show Every Story Ever Told.
Bringing comedic life to some of the more serious subject matter is not an easy feat. This is Cancer, a one-man show by cancer survivor Bruce Horak brings a fresh look at a topic that could use a laugh. And the always funny issue of Polygamy is covered in the satirical Progressive Polygamists.
Houdini’s Last Escape, a rom-com with the added bonus of tricks (or illusions if you prefer) won “Best of the Fest” at the Winnipeg Fringe this year. Giant Invisible Robot debuted five years ago where it won “Best Original Script”, “Best Original Work” and “Best Male Performer”. Plus – everyone loves winners.
So if you’re in the mood to forego the movie and popcorn, you can take in a couple of live shows. The Vancouver Fringe Festival runs from September 8-18. For program schedules and ticket info check out the Vancouver International Fringe Festival.