The Vancouver Fringe Festival is on right now & so far I’ve seen two plays – a dark 18A rated one (with nudity!) & a funny one that we took the boy to see (training sheep for the Olympics? Hellz yeah!). I’m not much of a theater buff, but I do love the indie DIY-style that goes hand in hand with the Fringe Festival & have been enjoying shows since I was a teenager growing up in Winnipeg. I got a little spoiled by my years living in Edmonton, which has one of the largest & most well-supported festivals. I remember seeing a little restaurant just off Whyte Ave that actually closed down during the Fringe so that the owners could go Fringing themselves. When faced with the choice of making a ton of money from the huge crowds gathered in the area or supporting the festival & seeing plays themselves, they chose to participate. How awesome is that? They just put a big sign on the door that read “Gone Fringing!” Love it.
Since Vancouver is a bigger city & pretty arts-friendly, I assumed the Fringe would be huge out here. There are still 68 different acts to see over the course of 2 weeks, but will we see more than 92,000 ticket sales like Edmonton had this year? Not likely. The late start doesn’t help any with this being a September festival rather than a summer one. I’m swamped with back to school busy-ness myself, but I also really like the idea of one last big festival to say goodbye to summer. So, if you’re in the Fringing mood, grab yourself a free program guide at your local Blenz coffee shop & don’t forget a pen so you can circle the shows that tickle your fancy.
And if you’re curious about the shows I’ve seen so far, I can definitely recommend Andrew Templeton’s Biographies of the Dead and Dying. Slightly disturbing, emotionally raw, dotted with funny bits – I don’t want to give anything away, but I can safely say that you won’t be bored. Check out the YouTube trailer to get a sneak preview: