Fringe (416) comes to Orangeville as Fringe (519)

July 13, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Always on the look out to promote theatre experience in Dufferin, Theatre Orangeville is bringing in two shows from the Toronto Fringe Festival, labelling them, as they come north Fringe (519).

“It was a lot to do,” David Nairn, Artistic Director of Theatre Orangeville, told us. “We had to clear it with the organizers of Fringe and then, of the [approximately] 128 shows, we approached 60 with the idea to see who would be willing to come.

“We, meaning myself, Bernadette [Hardacher, General Manager] and a couple of others had to go and see all of the shows we were considering and, then, chose two amongst them.

“We have chosen our two,” said Mr Nairn earlier this week. “We’re very excited about this and there is one other that is so brilliant, we have to find a way to bring it here.”

It was a lot of theatre and some very remarkable shows came to light.

“There’s one that takes place in a bar,” Mr Nairn said, “and this works well with the way we have it set up.”

Indeed, there are two shows and two venues: the Barley Vine Railway (BVR) and Soulyve over two days, July 20 and 21.

Fringe Theatre is innovation in theatre. Comedy or drama, whimsical, serious, thoughtful, raunchy, Fringe is always looking for the “other.” Frequently, the home of young actors, age is still no barrier; only the willingness to release the imagination and accept what could be considered weird, even offensive, open the boundaries.

In 1947, eight theatre groups attended, uninvited, the newly form Edinburgh International Festival, created to revitalize culture and theatre after the darkness of WII. Not having a schedule nor venues in which to perform, the gate crashers, as it were, played on anyway wherever they could.

Returning again the following years, they became their own attraction

until, in 1958, the Edinburgh Fringe Society was created. The Edinburgh Fringe website, sums it up by explaining that formalizing the Society brought the whole into focus, providing information to the artists, publishing a Fringe program and creating a box office. Its constitution reflected the ethos that “brought these theatre companies to Edinburgh back in 1947. The Society takes no part in vetting the  Festival’s programme. They are pleased to say now “that remains at the core of of our festival and we’re proud to include in our programme anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them.”

It is the essentially no holds barred and the telling of stories in a way that conventional theatre does not usually; the daring and the unusual way of telling a tale are all part of what makes Fringe distinctive.

Certainly, across the boards of the main stage at Theatre Orangeville, we are treated to what is a piece of theatre art, like The Trudeau Stories this past season, a play not altogether conventional, not like any other one-person show. Yet, it featured only one actor, Brooke Johnson, “skating” across the stage in a remembered moment with her friend, Pierre Trudeau.

Moments in a life, tragedy, comedy, the same elements as one finds on any stage but re-envisioned in ways that startle and intrigue.

So, two shows, two days, two venues, neither of them theatres. However, theatre will take its grip on them both for a total of six performances: “late night” at the BVR on Friday, July 20 and then, afternoon and evening at Soulyve on Saturday, July 21.

At the time of going to press, Theatre Orangeville was not at liberty to name the two, restrained by Toronto Fringe protocol.

In next week’s issue of the Citizen, we will be able to tell all, last minute. For the moment, trusting the the good taste and integrity of TOV, grab your tickets as usual at the Box Office at 87 Broadway and the Information Centre ion Buena Vista at Hwy10; by telephone 519-942-3423 or individual tickets on line :

Two day passes cannot be purchased online. (“Our computer wouldn’t let us, says Box Office)   

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