Monday, 6 July 2009

The Toronto Fringe Festival

I’ll be writing more about my trip to England later in the week. But for the time being, the Toronto Fringe Festival is running and I’ve been invited to a lot of preview shows just so that I can relate my opinions back to you all. Let’s face it: you can’t have a preview without the word “Review”. Without it, you’d just have a “p”. And you can’t just have a p in a theatre, you have to go to the toilets. I know. I’ve been thrown out of enough shows.

One of the most talked-about shows in the festival is An Angry Transvestite Talks About His Crotch, a one-man show in the Gashlycrumb Tiny Auditorium on Yonge and St. Muffin. I’ll be honest, if you’re not interested in transvestites, crotches or high-pitched laughter at one’s own jokes, you’re not going to find much to enjoy here.

Gratuitous Swearing in the Motherfucking Title
is a new play from the drama club of Saint Liberace’s Middle School in West Parody. In all my years of reviewing things, I have never seen anything quite so violent, so sexually explicit, so foul-mouthed and so gut-wrenchingly bleak as this performance. It made Harvey Keitel’s Bad Lieutenant look like an episode of Smallville. God, this was fantastic. Take your kids. If you don’t have kids, take someone else’s. You can usually find some outside a shoe shop.

If you like improv, you’ll love the Statue of Ad-Lib-erty, which is running from Tuesday to Tuesday following, at the Whiplash Theatre in the Jerseying District. Shout out things that you think are funny and receive rolled eyes from the performers who really do actually see you as a barrier to humour, rather than a facilitator. Oh, “Nantucket”, how hilarious, nobody’s ever shouted “Nantucket” before. Are you sure you’re not Colin Mochrie or something?

A Tribute to Someone You’ve Never Heard of features the comedy stylings of Dan the Faux Misogynist, Deborah the Traffic Warden Who Wears a Mexican Wrestler Mask for Comic Effect and Ted, That Guy Who Pretends to be Mentally Slow by Slurring But Actually Isn’t Because He’s Really a Financial Advisor in Real Life. Anyone who watches this show is guaranteed at least one and a half actual laughs or your money back. Free show, then.

Finally, a thoroughly enjoyable play stars Edgar Badmoustache and Jemima Duddlepuck as two old people who sit and reminisce in front of a fireplace. The play, which doesn’t have a title, is showing at Grumbly Street Nursing Home, every day until December. The play is free, though viewers are asked to donate several biscuits and tea for the performers.

The Toronto garbage collectors are currently on strike, meaning that the city streets are piled high with crap and rubbish. That this is occurring at the same time as the Fringe Festival is purely coincidental.


Soda and Candy said...

I can't wait to see Gratuitous Swearing in the Motherfucking Title.

An immensely helpful review!

mo.stoneskin said...

I'll bet there is plenty of gratuitous swearing in Toronto with all that trash!

Red said...

You can find children outside of shoe shops? Can they be returned if they don't fit properly?

words...words...words... said...

Are you sure this festival isn't taking place in Los Angeles? I'm pretty sure all this would be considered daring genius here.

katrocket said...

I thought you would be reviewing the REAL Fringe Festival - the one where purveyors and collectors of fringed clothing gather to revel in their decorative stringy style.

I was there and it was suede-tastic! I guess I could give you a rundown later.

Tash said...

You had me at "Colin Mochrie."

But come to think of it, that came pretty late in the post so next time, maybe you award him a place of more prominence?

Like on the moon, maybe.

Gifted Typist said...

I used to live near a little village in Somerset called Nempnett Thrubwell - you have to love the sign to Nempnett Thrubwell