Arts & Culture

Fringe for days

A mom show, crude comedy, and a story of love and turmoil recounted from Atlantic Film Festival

Fringe for days photo by : Patrick Fulgencio
written by Rana Encol
October 3, 2016 12:24 am

The Mom Show (or, the Most Boring Show Ever)

A delightful one-woman exposition of pranayama deep-breathing, couples’ posturing on Instagram, and the pains and labours of motherhood. Amy Grace takes us on a joyful tour of her life as a childbearing woman without comparing herself to Meredith Grey, M.D.

Ovaries not required, but a bonus to attend.

 

Stood Up

Adam Myatt translates being romantically stood up to stand up comedy.

And he does so exquisitely.

Have you ever googled your symptoms of malaise and ended up on depressionhurts.ca? Been pissed off about washrooms with automated toilets and sinks but NO automated hand-drying? Had your sexts auto-corrected to offensive missiles or worse, mom references?

And what about fast food customers who clearly belong in a different century, if not millennium?

If any of these minor irritations ring a bell, this is the show for you. Myatt delivers his deadbeat humour with the help of a few discount carnations and a deadpan script that gets as racy as the sex toys under his bed.

Parental guidance recommended.

 

The Space Between

A couple from Dartmouth said this was the only show they were planning to attend for the festival, and I think they chose the right one.

The Space Between navigates the space between two people pulled oceans apart. It is told from the perspective of Winston, a nine-year-old South African boy who is separated from his American sweetheart by countries, time, doubts, race, and class.

Their reunion is a story of hope amidst the turmoil of an apartheid state slowly coming apart at the seams.

Winston wasn’t always called Winston. His South African name is a mouthful even for South Africans.

“Names need to travel well. The weight is borne by the named, not the namer,” said writer-performer Simeone Taole.

His love’s name, however, is like a mini aria: Celeste.

Winston suffers the emotional abuse of his corpulent schoolmarm, who teases his jet set dreams in front of the students by calling him “Mr. Internationale.” He suffers full-on trauma, “a spiritual death,” he calls it, when the Afrikaner Neo Nazi separatists break into his parents’ home with guns and ammunition.

Winston’s sole respite is in the form of the letters from Celeste.

The letters start and stop. She travels, he goes to school, she has suitors, but his faith is boundless and brings him first to London, then to Toronto Pearson International Airport (with a little help from a projection screen).

Snow falls softly. He watches the airport ballet. They finally meet.

She smiles.

Taole is a performer of amazing physicality. Audience members remarked afterwards how they had never seen such a facially expressive dramatist. He is an accomplished gymnast of dialect, as well.

Taole premiered the play in Toronto. His smile and candour were contagious as he carted his cargo into the show.