I had so much fun last night at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. My husband Dave was working as a volunteer so I decided to strike out on my own. The first play I chose was Juliet’s Revenge at the Kings Head Pub. Luckily I’d headed over early to get my ticket because it quickly sold out. When I walked in the door I was surprised to see my cousin Lynne and her husband Rod were also in attendance. I sat with them, and Rod, the consummate gentleman that he is, quickly bought me a glass of white wine and then invited me to help them eat a delicious plate of nachos. So I was in a pretty good mood before the play even started!
But oh my word Juliet’s Revenge was so funny and entertaining. My cousin and I were laughing out loud. Have you ever wondered why William Shakespeare killed off so many of his female heroines by having them commit suicide? Cleopatra, Juliet, Lady Macbeth, Ophelia? Well, the Shakespearean women are out to get revenge on the bard and rewrite their stories with different endings and they do so in the most comedic and delightful way!! Actress Carly Pokoradi was astounding as she jumped back and forth between the no-nonsense persona of Lady Macbeth, the sweet flighty Ophelia, and the regal Cleopatra.
Pippa Mackie played Juliet and her face during the bedroom scene with Romeo told a whole story in itself without her uttering a word. Lady Macbeth and Juliet mimed rowing a boat together as they tried to save Ophelia from drowning and we sat in awe at their physical comedic abilities. They got the audience involved at a couple points too. When the women were chasing around the theatre looking for William Shakespeare I suddenly heard Lady Macbeth’s Scottish brogue in my ear asking me if I knew where he had gone. I pointed to the stage where William was brandishing his book of plays.
If you get a chance to see Juliet’s Revenge by all means go. It’s great!
The second play I saw which also sold out was I Lost on Jeopardy. I had read the article in the Winnipeg Free Press about George Buri the Winnipeg history professor who against all odds made it on to the game show and then lost on the Final Jeopardy question. George has written a one-man show in which he describes his Jeopardy experience in an interesting and entertaining fashion. One of my favorite parts was where he demonstrates how he practiced quick action on the Jeopardy buzzer using a toilet paper roll dispenser.
George wraps up his performance by telling us a little bit about his fellow contestants and sharing the important life lessons he gleaned from his failure to win on Jeopardy. I Lost on Jeopardy was a solid hour of entertainment. George Buri, history professor turned actor, lets you know that putting on a Fringe play, like being on Jeopardy, is one of the risks he’s taken to make his life hope-filled and meaningful. His play encourages us to follow suit.
I had a fabulous Sunday night at The Fringe and look forward to seeing more great plays during the coming week.