Fr!nge: ‘The outskirts of the mainstream’
Festival performances: In review
Property Stars Canada
Written & Directed by: Keegan Chambers
Written and directed by Keegan Chambers, Property Stars Canada was a look at a day in the life of a door-to-door salesman pedalling driveway repairs. Chambers, who also starred in the play, delivered a solid performance while directing quips at the invisible John, her trainee for the day.
In the evening’s opening act, Chamber’s delivers a sales pitch to several hillbillies, a mime, a shirtless teenager left with free reign of the house for the weekend and a group of burglars — to name a few.
While delivering some laughs, ultimately, Chambers was unable to carry the play. The revolving door of characters who answered the door provided a mixed reaction, with some garnering a strong audience response and others falling flat.
Acid Love Story
Written & Directed by: Ron Butler
Acid Love Story — a film which followed three friends as they tripped on acid, had moments of humour deriven from the stoned-antics of actors Kevin Hatch, Reid Cowper and Shawn Trask.
However, the effectiveness of the film was hindered by the final moments, in which Hatch’s character has an epiphany about human nature and the disconnectedness of individuals.
Given the content of the previous ten minutes, this sentiment was unexpected and ineffective in its delivery. The film was solid, but lacked a final punch.
The Holiday Season
Written by: Taryn Parrish
Directed by: Luke Dotto
Among the strongest efforts of the evening, Dotto’s The Holiday Season employed sordid humour to parody the premise of political correctness in the workplace.
The Holiday Season saw two shopping mall officials and their plans for revamping internal structure to rid it of Christmas, Chanukuh and the like.
The pairing of Kevin Hatch and Luke Dotto hit the mark comedically. With the aid of Lauren Vastano-Beltrano, the short play garnered numerous laughs. A Michael J. Fox joke may have struck some audience members as being in bad taste but otherwise the writing of The Holiday Season was right on point.
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The strongest film of the festival, Abjection had artistic merit while managing to avoid pretentiousness.
Although the dialogue was at times confusingly out of context, the film was well executed and the actors were ultimately convincing. The opening scenes provided stylish intrigue as they introduced the character played by Sarah Hall, who delivered a subtle yet skilled performance in the film.
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Purgatory Quirks, written and directed by Kevin Hatch, saw several quirky characters as they navigated purgatory; masquerading as a bar. Paula Schneider was especially hilarious in her portrayal of “Connery” — a dellusional woman whose script consisted entirely of Sean Connery lines and movie references.
Wade Thompson provided a “straightman” to the rest of the cast that added to the humour of the play, while Travis Herron was hilarious in his portrayal of the “sticky” Raymond.
Written, Directed & edited by: Mike McMurren
Demon Bitch offered up lighthearted humour in its portrayal of girlfriend-turned-zombie-killer Molly (Keegan Chambers) and her boyfriend (Geoff Almond)’s consequent reaction.
Refreshingly, the film didn’t attempt to achieve more than the easy humour it inspired, and was ultimately pleasurable to watch.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Written & Directed by: Ted Steiner
The mood of the show took a decided turn with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which was an effort lost on audiences. The film, which was a jarring departure from the other efforts presented in the festival, seemed aimless.
Although it lasted for only fifteen minutes, the film seemed to drag on, while images of watercolour paintings were splashed across the screen for seven “acts,” with only a sound-track as stimuli.
The sound editing itself was strong and complimented the images on screen — unfortunately, it was difficult to not immediately lose interest in the “plot” (for those who were able to follow to begin with).
The film was based on the artwork of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
The Second Draft
Written & Directed by: Wade Thompson
A hilariously written and seamlessly executed play written and directed by Wade Thompson, The Second Draft most clearly exemplified the talents of the Fr!nge performers.
The play, which follows the plight of Frank (Kevin Hatch) as he attempts to overcome a case of writer’s block. In a hilarious twist, Frank’s narrator (Christine Ciuciura) inverts the roles of the relationship and begins to narrate the events of Kevin’s life.
Wrought with unexpected turns and cleverly written side-line characters, The Second Draft undoubtedly garnered the most laughs of the night and was hilarious from start to finish.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated since its original publishing date.