It’s hard to believe that we were loading in the first of our groups a scant two weeks ago… all nervous about our first rehearsals and shows. Today we will take those same groups, open the loading dock doors, say a “fare thee well”, and unceremoniously push them off the dock into the cold dark reality of the everyday. No more magic mop buckets, no more mayonnaise, no more screaming mimes… everybody has to get the Fringe out after their performances today.
Many of those shows will close today, never to be seen again, only remembered by those who were involved. Others move on to the next stop in the Canadian Fringe Festival circuit which would be Saskatoon or Calgary and then on to the largest festival in North America, Edmonton. I’m sure that someone has already reported back that Winnipeg has 32 venues, so Edmonton can organise a 33 venue festival and hold on to their crown.
A few things from this Fringe will be remembered for a long time, like enemas, douche bag day, and the deep fried pickle incident in Venue 9; how that possum got ahold of a vendor license, I have no idea.
I played nice with the critics this year, and didn’t attack some of the festival’s flaws. I’m sure I have plenty of time to voice any of my concerns, forget my concerns, and then be just as concerned next year and remember: “Oh ya! We were totally going to do something about that pit of doom that randomly appears in the dressing room and sucks all the socks out. We should do something about that next year… and maybe install that wheelchair transporter beam that we bought from IKEA and is still in the box”.
Tomorrow venue 2 will get torn down and stored for next year. Chairs, flats, floor, drapes, lights, speakers, booth, enema tubing, everything must go… and a crew of six will have it all out in six to eight hours. The last blog post will follow that.
Then for me it’s a six week “vacation” with Folklorama pavilions planned in there somewhere, and maybe I’ll work on that script that I’ve been writing where a possum and a sad clown debate the finer points of hydothermal reactions in mayonnaise. It’s a work in progress.
Once the festival cycle is complete, it’s back to the main seasons of theatre, opera, and dance that happens in this town. Some of that mainstage season culture will have had it’s start at a fringe festival somewhere, just as The Drowsy Chaperone did in 1999, Bloodless in 2009, and Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Dirbyshire Tassel Gathering of 1591. So who knows, one of the productions you saw this year may get picked up by a mainstream company and eventually win a Tony award.
So unless you are travelling west to continue with a different fringing Fringe, you’ll have to wait until next fringing year to get your fringing fringe on.
So here’s a screaming mime to send you on your way, and then Fringe off!
Thanks to Giuseppe Condello (Sandwich senior) as the screaming mime.