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Fringe city

Five first-week picks at the Halifax Fringe Festival.

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FERN COURARIE
  • FERN COURARIE

The 28th Halifax Fringe Festival is kicking off with over 50 shows across 11 days in venues across the city. Don't wait for the buzz to build—trust us on these.


Ah Hell!: The Words of Dorothy Parker
Aug 30, Sep 1-2, Sep 4 & Sep 6
The Old Company Theatre, 2202 Gottingen St
$5

"Dorothy Parker is famous for theses acerbic snippets of wit," says Colleen MacIsaac, co-adapter of the play with Dan Roy. "She also has really good insight into the world and human nature. Even though she's writing from a perspective in the 20s to 40s, I think a lot of it still applies today." From Fringe regulars Lions Dens Theatre, Ah Hell! is an adaptation of three stories by the always wonderful Parker. Short and sweet at 20 minutes, with three talented actors (two of whom have previously won Best Actor awards at past Fringes), this is sure to be a popular festival offering.


25
Aug 31-Sep 3 & Sep 5
The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street
$12/$9

Parisian theatre company 1919 is finishing its Canadian Fringe tour in Halifax, having gathered much praise along the way for its experimental 25. "We can't wait to see how it will be received in Halifax," says writer, director and performer Elliot Delage. Anastasia Wells performs alongside Delage and together they portray 12 characters in a mosaic of loosely connected scenes. Delage says audiences have had many interpretations of the play, which is purposefully open-ended: "The variety of thoughts, theories and emotions that 25 can trigger during, and even long after, the performance are what nourish this project."


Shylock
Aug 31-Sep 1, Sep 3, Sep 5 & Sep 9
The Waiting Room, 6040 Almon Street
$12

Five years ago, actor Lee J. Campbell's friend gave him a script called Shylock, a one-man play exploring themes of art and truth. "He gave me a copy of the play to read," says director Sherry Smith, "and with everything happening today with regard to political correctness and hypersensitivity concerning theatrical productions, I called him and said, 'Start learning your lines.'" Campbell and Smith are both veterans of Canadian theatre, and Shylock is very safe bet among the many weird and wonderful shows that populate any Fringe festival. "The audience can expect something provocative and challenging, and definitely controversial," says Smith.


Evil
Sep 2-3 & Sep 5
Plan B Merchants' Co-op, 2180 Gottingen Street
$5

Evil is a horror comedy based on a book Kayla Leblanc wrote when she was nine years old. "One summer as a kid I decided that I wanted to write a book," says Leblanc, "and being a kid raised on horror films, I wrote a very bad horror novel." With her friend Sean Baker, the novel was reimagined as a play through workshops and the goldmine of spoofing B-horror movies. "We keep it light and campy and play into the cliche horror tropes."


Feminist Dance Anthems Vol. 1
Sep 3, 8:30pm
The Old Pool Hall Theatre, 6050-6070 Almon Street,
$5

Just like the title promises, this event is a one-hour dance party featuring 15 original songs with a feminist twist, all written by queer women and gender non-binary folk. "The concept was born after going out dancing one night," says organizer Ross Unger. "A few friends were being harassed on the dance floor and shrugging it off as normal, and then one of us noticed how ridiculous it was that this was normalized, and how many pop songs encourage this behaviour." A faux club environment will be created, and attendees are encouraged to dress up and dance the night away (or at least the hour).

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