Fierce Monsters (The Pop Group) 2012 SummerWorks Review

Fierce Monsters, playing as part of SummerWorks investigates how human tenderness and survival instincts compete when two opposite personalities find themselves in a desperate situation.  An uprising between miners and Indians is underway in Yale, BC.  It’s 1858.  Citizens are taking the law into their own hands.

But the violence is outside of the shanty where the story of Fierce Monsters unfolds.  We instead observe how the two ladies manage each other and the threat of what’s to come.

Margaret Evans’ portrayal of the jaded cabin owner is beautifully conflicted, with just the right ratio of brisk warmth and vulnerable toughness.  She’s the stoic antithesis to  Laura Nordin’s personification of naïvety, youth and privilege.

My mom and I enjoyed the writing and acting of the piece.  The costumes and set successfully illustrated the mid-19th Century atmosphere. At 75 minutes however, my mom felt that Fierce Monsters was a little long.

She loved the recorded musical interludes by Geoffrey Pounsett which played between each scene. While I agreed that the music was beautiful, I found the constant fadeouts in the staging distracting. Each break in the narrative interrupted the building intensity of the story.

Fierce Monsters is suspenseful and interesting, but I’d be curious to see a version with fewer interruptions in the staging… or maybe  realized on the silver screen!


  • Fierce Monsters plays at the Lower Ossington Theatre (100A Ossington Ave.)
  • Performances are Monday the 13th at 7:30 pm, Wednesday the 15 at 10:00 pm, Friday the 17 at5:00 pm, and Sunday the 19th at 2:30 pm.
  • All individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at, by phone by calling the Lower Ossington Box Office at 416-915-6747, in person at the Lower Ossington Box Office (located at 100A Ossington Avenue) Mon. – Sun. 12 pm – 7 pm (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee)
  • Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows.

Photo by Hugh Probyn