FRINGE REVIEW: Actor ferocious in dark, enjoyable one-woman show Get Around Me

Gillian English is ferociously funny as a one-woman powerhouse bent on taking down the patriarchy in her solo show Get Around Me.

Sadly, her story is not abnormal, but the method of presentation certainly is: the Shakespearean-trained actress has bravely turned her own unfortunate experience of sexual assault into a stage performance.

It’s evident she’s sharing this story for comic, retributive and preventative purposes.

The emotionally and otherwise wearing incident, which was connected to her personal strength-inducing journey into athleticism via Australian Rules Football in her late 20s, has been turned into a battle cry against any injustice done towards her own sex.

Her anger-fuelled confidence and feminist nature is inspiring.

The show takes place in The Living Room on Agricola Street. The small venue, and its given name are apt for the performance: English presents herself simply as herself — a real person who, at that moment, happens to be “acting” on stage — like a standup comedian with a serious statement. Her accompanying personal photographic slideshow completes this picture.

The show, though dark, has an ample helping of this native Nova Scotian’s lightly seasoned casual style humour on the side.

While not a typical play by any means, given its highly personal and purposeful nature, it was informative, uncomfortable and enjoyable all at the same time.

Come hear her story; respect the bold move she’s made by making this show.

As originally published in The Chronicle Herald

FRINGE REVIEW: Yes People, No People makes middle ground enjoyable

Yes People, No People explores the middle ground of decision-making where some of us meander — the safe space between a passive or progressive choice.

This performance, suitably playing in The Waiting Room, is made up of a series of sketches in which Zach Faye and Julia Topple examine the inner and surface selves of their various characters, as well as the workings of society, along with appearance and perspective via a variety of theatrical styles. It’s a constant introspective analysis of our innermost thoughts and outward actions, in relation to some of the silly persistent practices of the present age.

They make a great team — supplying energy, enthusiasm and precision to this partially poetic piece, intermixed with appropriately themed music, metaphors and puns.

Mary Faye Coady, along with director Meghan Hubley, and the cast themselves, seem to have given great care into this collective artistic creation. This dramatic comedy has something to indulge the deep as well as those with a preference for potty humour.

A ranking of the show would reside in the same middle space it considers, because the subject matter and content don’t allow for a strong denouement, but this does not stop the performance from being immensely enjoyable.

It’s able to remind us of simplicity and clarity in this increasingly busy world. If you’re hearing the call of a little contemplation alongside some laughter see this show: Wednesday 10:05 p.m.; Thursday, 8 p.m.; Friday, 8:50 p.m. and Sunday, 5:50 p.m.

As originally published in The Chronicle Herald

FRINGE REVIEW: Music best part of Divine Inspiration

Divine Intervention provides ancient consideration for a way of solving many of the world’s present issues.

The musical opera created by Michael Emenau, Briane Nasimok, Kate Dowling and Mark Shekter is an acoustically interesting and fun view at this year’s fringe, but the story lacked a little in development and character strength.

The piece takes on the divergent perspectives of two of the most opinionated of Greek mythology’s gods: Apollo and Dionysus, in an attempt to use their varying traits to save Earth from the self-destructive hands of humans.

Using a judicial method of bringing forth witnesses and just examples to prove their cases, the two gods duke it out to defend their own way as the best to provide aid: through reasonable and rational consistent work, or irrational and inspired creative solutions. The audience, involved in the production, is to act as the ultimate judge.

Mary Shelly, Beethoven, and Mozart make short appearances, but the real merit of these and other accomplished intellectuals’ inclusion in the work is through Emenau’s beautiful arrangements. The most impressive part of the show is the music. Guitar, cajon, tambourine and piano continue playing throughout the performance, and the wonderful pitches of the cast members’ voices meet this sonic pleasure for these songs.

As originally published in The Chronicle Herald.

Atlantic Fringe Festival: Waiting for Batteries will give you a charge

Come recharge your batteries by seeing this show.

It will be good for your soul, and the creators of Slippery People Theatre’s Waiting for Batteries and those who act in it deserve a full audience.

It simply must be seen this year’s Atlantic Fringe Festival.

The writing by Michael Burgos, who also plays the role of Eduardo, an eccentric and idealistic caregiver, is brilliant. All of the acting — which also includes Steve Day playing the role of Silvio Plachowski, a shortwave radio enthusiast, alongside Eduardo Dimartino as Larry, and Ken Hall as Therapeutic Rick — is beautifully done.

The story, the idea for which came from Day, is moving and makes you consider the different aspects of crazy we all possess in our own private spheres of life.

Is there really that big of a difference between the search for a beloved item which has been misplaced, leaving you to tear apart your home in search of it — investing emotion and even dictating your mood for the day — and an intrinsic obsession with a particular object by someone who may be deemed mentally ill?

Is there a large difference between an irrational phobia and an irrational fixation? Or does it just come down to duration.

Waiting for Batteries is an exploration of our everyday idiosyncrasies and how they are amplified when mental illness or even the mere ups and downs of daily life enter the mix.

It explores character boundaries and communication between people of different cultures and backgrounds.

It makes obvious the unique abilities we are born with as individuals and the potential we all hold.

Your shoulders may shake and ribs ache from laughter.

It can still be viewed at DANSPACE on Grafton Street today at 8:30 p.m., Tuesday – 9:30 p.m., Wednesday – 8 p.m., Thursday – 6 p.m., and Saturday – 9:15 p.m.