Fringe Beginnings…

As some of you know, I have a soft spot for the world of bouffon, bouffonerie, buffoonery, so my first Fringe choice on the advice of my friends in the know was “Little Lady” by Sandrine Lafond. Ohhhh…. sweet bliss. She is lovely, tormented, sugary, ugly, bumpy, ritualistic, and absolutely compelling to spy on.

Little Lady

Lafond, who comes from a background of Cirque Du Soleil and dancing for Celine Dion, has produced a dark piece that amongst other observations of life loves to mock our obsession with looks. Her mix of clown and bouffon was divinely scrumptious, and very edible. As Lafond squirms and worms her way around in a trapped space, she isolates her feet, her hands, her legs, her toes, and her shoulders making me reexamine my own feet that night in bed. Her feet seemed to have a brain their own.

“Little Lady” is a multi-media show that keeps its message clear, without any dialogue, and has just enough interaction with the audience to not get us nervous. This show is your dark glee in between other shows.

The Bike Trip” was the perfect opposing piece. Like sweet and sour, like the turtle and the hare, like hot and windy, like acid and pot… Okay, I’ll stop there. Although, actor/creator Martin Dockery, I think, would approve of my going off on a tangent. Unlike “Little Lady”, Dockery is all about words, and storytelling, and tangents! He recounts his travelling tales with such a passionate commitment that you cannot NOT be drawn in.

The Bike Trip

The show is about his quest to create a piece (for the theatre he pre-booked!) about the first historical LSD experience via a journey through San Francisco, India, and Switzerland. And, he did it. Dockery is full of surprises as a performer and a writer, keeping us on our toes. The only problem I can attest to is laughing so hard at one section, you might miss the next gem. It’s a great excuse to go see the show again.

You are not only laughing and spinning around on this verbal LSD trip. Dockery in his equally skilled writing and performing also deals out a breath catching button at the end of each big segment. Thankfully he allows us a few seconds to absorb it before launching into the next tornado.

And, you know, I think Dockery should get some funding from science. He puts out a good case for LSD!

For my first Fringe outing I was inspired, and wired (in a good way). I congratulate both shows for fulfilling their quests of writing and performing and giving us the gift of their storytelling.

I look forward to more of the Vancouver International Fringe Festival 2012 from September 6-16, 2012.

Vive le theatre!

By Trilby Jeeves writing for The Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance

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