A marriage blessed by butterflies, a fart story set to music and gang life in the early 1900s. That gives you a glimpse into the three plays I’ve seen so far at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. I think I would recommend them all in this order.
- Delirium -Dave and I almost always see Martin Dockery at the Fringe. He rarely disappoints and definitely doesn’t in this story about how he proposed to his wife after a particularly harrowing encounter with customs officials. They marry in Mexico at a spot where monarch butterflies roost en mass. It’s a way to pay tribute to Martin’s grandfather who wrote a book about butterflies. If you’re a dog lover bring your Kleenex because there’s a tale about Martin’s dog Lucy intertwined with the wedding narrative and it’s a tear jerker. The venue is small and Martin is popular so get your tickets early. He’s sure to sell out his shows.
- Elephant Girls- Did you know there was a London gang of female thieves called the Forty Elephants in the early 1900s? They were famous for their shop lifting escapades. They’d descend as a group on a department store and fan out to all the different sales areas setting the security personnel and police into a frantic state that usually allowed most of the women to escape scot-free. The story is narrated by an extremely talented actress who plays a fictional member of the Forty Elephants. The story is gritty and raw. We stopped at Old Market Square just before the show and Dave bought me a Mike’s Hard Lemonade, a drink which usually puts me to sleep, but this play kept me awake. A true testament to its entertainment value!
- Bring the Piano– I went to this play with my friend Esther and it had us both smiling. Randy Vancourt has a nice voice and he rarely looks at his hands when he plays the piano. He sings a group of songs he’s written each accompanied by a personal story. One’s about Miss Black a much hated teacher and another about his near death experience with a train. The fart story I referred to earlier is a musical version of Robert Munsch’s children’s book Good Families Don’t. It was a pleasant way to spend an hour.
My husband Dave is a volunteer leader at the Delirium Venue #26 and so if you go say hello. There is an elevator which we discovered after walking four flights of stairs up to theatre.
Elephant Girls and Bring the Piano are both at Venue #2 which is just across the alley from our back door. Give us a call if you decide to go and you can come over for a drink after the show.