Standup comic Paco Erhard pokes fun at himself and fellow German countrymen, as well as others in a lighthearted and hilarious 75-minute routine, 5-Step Guide to Being German 2.0 at the Roxy Theatre. Paco Erhard/Facebook

Fringe Fest reviews, Pt. 6: Festival going strong at the midway point

Dream monologues, German standup comedy, death midwives work. Experimental theatre? Not so much

This version of the story has been altered from its original version. – Don Descoteau, editor

As the Victoria Fringe Festival nears completion of its first week, we at Monday Magazine are (almost) at the end of our published reviews of as many of the 47 shows we could get to while they’re still on.

Performers of the shows scheduled for the back end of the festival offered up their two-minute previews Tuesday night at The Metro Studio, giving audiences a chance to plan out their own viewing schedules. To those performers whose shows we didn’t get a chance to review, perhaps next time, but we encourage readers to get out and see as many as possible in the final five days of the festival.

There’s still lots more entertainment to come!

For a full schedule of shows and other information, visit intrepidtheatre.com.

13 Dead Dreams of Eugene, playing at the Metro Studio.

13 Dead Dreams of “Eugene” – Theatre Mobile

PG 12+, violence, on at the Metro Studio through Sept. 1

A body found in a ditch outside Sabina, Ohio is never identified, is nicknamed “Eugene” and embalmed and displayed as a weird tourist attraction from 1929-63. All of that is completely true.

Theatre Mobile takes that weird chestnut and runs with it, creating a series of 13 strange “dreams” that haunt the people of Sabina. The dreams are given life by creative light and shadow play, and by eerie musical numbers and short monologues. It’s a surreal, horror-lite (horror light?) experience, and creator/performer duo Erika Kate MacDonald and Paul Strickland are engaging to listen to, especially as they “investigate” the source of the dreams. It’s straight out of a campfire ghost story and good fun.

**** (out of 5)

– Tim Ford

5-Step Guide to Being German 2.0 – Paco Erhard

PG12+, standup comedy, coarse language, on at the Roxy Theatre through Sept. 1

Paco Erhard makes clear at the outset of this hilarious, self-effacing routine about himself and his homeland that it has changed since he first performed it in 2011. There’s no more five steps – it’s actually 18 – a fact anyone seeking confirmation of German precision and order will find annoying, he admits.

He makes lighthearted fun of natives of Canada, England, Australia and yes, the U.S. The fact he has lived and performed in numerous countries – impressively learning about the quirks of their people and geography – makes him qualified to do so with authority and great humour.

But it is his examination of what makes the German people tick – and ticked off – that provides the biggest laughs. He carries the audience with him, which made this precisely 75-minute show worth catching.

***** (out of 5)

– Don Descoteau

How I Murdered My Mother – Tomo Suru Players

All Ages, storytelling, drama, comedy at Wood Hall through Aug.31

Gerald Williams tells his audience he is a middle-aged homosexual who weeps when he gets emotional and is married to a Japanese man. He and his husband elected to become midwives to the death of Gerald’s parents, one of whom had Alzheimer’s. The parents chose this particular son (out of six siblings) because he was the one who loved them least, and who would do the right thing.

Interesting concept. It was a decision he does not regret, but if given another chance, he might opt for a different method of caring for dying parents. Gerald tells his story with the aid of images on his computer, in a relaxed manner. A charming and thought-provoking one-person performance. Be prepared to laugh, but keep the tissues handy.

****1/2 (out of 5)

– Sheila Martindale

Lub Dub – Rage Sweater Theatre Productions

PG 12+, coarse language, adult themes, variety, protest, experimental, at the Downtown Activity Centre through Sept. 1

The Fringe program guide synopsis for this show reads, “LUB DUB invites you to celebrate, collaborate and smash white supremacy.”

As such, you may enjoy this show if you are: under 30 years of age, happy to hear varieties of the f-word – particularly f—- you! – repeated constantly during this one-hour show, think that hate is a form of love, enjoy rap music and believe a clutter of string, tissues, file cards and personal belongings strewn across the floor is art. If you are not any of the above, you likely won’t enjoy this show.

That said, Lub Dub is loud, energetic, passionate, in your face, disturbing and original. Enough said.

**1/2 (out of 5)

– Sheila Martindale

Editor’s note: An earlier version of the above review contained language which some readers may have perceived as racist in nature. While it was clearly not intended as such, we removed it. Monday apologizes to anyone who may have been offended, including the performers.

READ Previous Reviews:

Terrific solo shows about famous figures

From fears realized to a medical mission

From laughing at cancer to experimental theatre

The dance is delightful

Victoria Fringe Festival starts with a bang

 

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