Daily Picks from our Raves at the Toronto Fringe 2018 (July 12th)

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Only a few days left of the Toronto Fringe Festival! As the days dwindle, we still have some raves of fabulous shows left to highlight from our extensive list of reviews of every show in the festival. Which shows are you going to prioritize in the next few days? Hopefully we can help, as today’s rave feature Canadian fairy tales, intergalactic hippos, and spirit-rapping!

Six Stories, Told at Night (Gangway! Theatre Co.)

What it’s about: “The play has multiple intersecting narratives. The literal plot follows the friendship of two women, Samantha (Blythe Haynes) and Joëlle (Alexandra Milne), from childhood to their eventual drifting apart into a vague state of distant friendship. Joëlle is a feverish storyteller, while Sam is happy to listen, afraid to participate herself. Then, out of nowhere, Joëlle disappears, leaving behind a usb of audio files that contain readings of five French-Canadian fairy tales (yes, five–the sixth is explained later).”

Why our reviewer loved it: “As such, Six Stories, Told at Night is not only about stories and how we learn to tell our own, but also about how we as humans are magpies of culture and experience, gathering bits and pieces of the things we love to build evolving identities for ourselves. A love letter to broken hearts and letting go, to ambiguity and formation, this is a rich, complex play that had many an audience member discretely dabbing at tears. Yours truly included..”

Read our full review here!

Photo of Space Hippo in her cave of wonders from "Space Hippo."

Space Hippo (Wishes Mystical Puppet Co.)

What it’s about: “I mean, with only five years left on the planet before it succumbs to climate change, what else should humanity do to save itself than send a hippo into space? Yup, that’s the incredible premise for this mostly shadow puppetry presentation.”

Why our reviewer loved it: “I loved the ease with which they slid into a variety of styles. One of the earliest sequences is treated like a silent film with rollicking music and title cards, introducing us to Miss Hippo as she is prepared for her journey.”

Read our full review here!

Restless Spirit (Lago Di Lupi Productions)

What it’s about: Restless Spirit explores the question of whether or not ghosts exist, and if those who claim to communicate with them are all frauds, bent on exploiting the bereaved.”

Why our reviewer loved it: “The calibre of acting here is exceptional. The innocence and intensity of Nell is compelling. You want to believe her. Surely, she wouldn’t lie! Clara Boyden (Catherine Meyer) can’t believe when Nell recites facts about her dead daughter that no one would know. Imagine being able to hear from a loved one who was gone. I was really touched by Clara’s reaction…Lillian Dawes (Elaine O’Neal) is Nell’s sister and accepts that Nell speaks to ghosts and does her best to protect Nell, which she does by hiding her from the town. Lillian’s husband Charlie Dawes (Damien Gulde) conspires with Amos “Red” Hollowell, the town newspaper reporter (Dylan Maloney) to use Nell. Both actors were adept at portraying the requisite amount of sleaze.”

Read our full review here!