Fringe Fest gets fishy thanks to Oak Bay pair

Festival show Dancing with Fish first made a splash in Oak Bay

The Oak Bay-born Dancing with Fish, featuring Jim Ricks and Scott Smith, will be among the 50 shows appearing as part of the annual Fringe Festival.

Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival will showcase some of Oak Bay’s biggest fish this season.

Among the festival’s more than 300 performances of 50 shows at 11 venues over 11 days is the Oak Bay-born Dancing with Fish.

“We are thrilled to be in the Victoria Fringe Festival with a spiffed up version of this wonderful story about two men who meet and develop a life-long friendship built around games,” said Jim Ricks, one of the leads and creators.

Dancing with Fish was developed last year and performed at fringe festivals in Port Alberni and Nanaimo, as well as the In Jest Festival of Clown and Play in Vancouver. It was also onstage at Berwick Theatre in Royal Oak, Oak Bay United Church and James Bay New Horizons.

“Audiences really enjoyed the show and many people are coming to Fringe to see it again,” said Ricks, noting the project was created and rehearsed last year at Oak Bay United Church.

“We have played it in the sanctuary and have had a lot of church support. It has been great.”

Dancing with Fish stars Ricks and Scott Smith as Holliday and Moore, two guys who meet by chance. One is fairly introverted, the other outgoing and boisterous.

The friendship builds and develops but Moore is competitive, and he does something to Holliday that breaks their relationship. Moore’s ensuing epiphany inspires the origin of the Dancing with Fish title. He makes restitution, they become friends again and grow old together.

Ricks and Smith, who portray the pair, are also active clowns with the non-profit organization Sunshine Clown Society that presents the show. But while they use clown-like elements, it’s not a clown show.

“The show is family-friendly, kids get it and laugh,” Ricks said.

“This was a surprise to us when we performed in several venues where kids were present. Few shows in Fringe are family-friendly so we encourage people to bring school-aged kids.”

Oak Bay United Church,1355 Mitchell Rd., plans to host a party to see the show on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 3:30 p.m.

The festival opened Aug. 27 and runs to Sept. 6.

Fringe shows are moderately priced at $11 for adults and $9 for seniors and kids. Tickets, show times and venue details are available online at victoriafringe.com.

 

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