July 10 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

image saying daily raves

If you’re new to Fringing our rave reviews can help you decide which shows to see. They’re the ones with the little green Rave Review in brackets next to them on the Fringe Reviews list.

These are the shows that made our reviewers want to run out of the theatre, grab people, and tell them that they absolutely ‘have to go see this show, it’s amazing’. Well, they make me want to do that.

It’s not the only way to pick a show but it’s one way to get started. Here are a few that our writers have raved about.

Photo of Dale Boyer, Amanda Barker in Clotheswap, photo by Bryan Cacciatore

Clotheswap (Ladybros)

What it’s about: “An empty house, a dead grandmother, and too many clothes. This co-production with The Textile Museum of Canada examines the seams of empathy among women, the high cost of fast fashion, and the stories our bodies tell. Audience can bring clothing to swap and donate to Sistering & Dress For Success.”

Why our reviewer loved it: “It felt very real. I was laughing at all the jokes, but in a way that I felt I was participating. The characters felt real, and so when the actors started improving comments with the clothes that the audience brought, I was reacting right there with them. When they fought I had that uncomfortable feeling you get when you’re in a room and people start to air their dirty laundry. Even the ending was real, it was uncomfortable, it wasn’t neat, but it was very real and it left me feeling messily satisfied. ”

Read our full review here!

Picture of Jess Beaulieu and Luis Fernandes in Emotional Labour
Emotional Labour (Crimson Wave Productions)

What it’s about:  “Women far too often have to carry the emotional load in their relationships with men. And it’s a load of exhausting, rage-inducing bullshit. So we wrote a play to talk about it. It’s funny, educational, and provides solutions for some of these ongoing, fucking problems.”

Why our reviewer loved it:  “The show was written by the actors themselves and it was great. I found the dialogue to be very natural, almost like they took scenes “verbatim” out of real life, that is…if real life just so happened to have perfect comedy timing.  I’m trying to think of specific “funny” moments, but the show wasn’t really about “gags” or “bits”. The humour was woven into the dialogue as well as the action of the story making it very comfortable (and fun) to watch. The audience was constantly bubbling with laughter as the show went on.”

Read our full review here!

Please Stand Clear Banner Photo

Please Stand Clear (House of Rebels Theatre)

What it’s about: “Two men are waiting on a subway platform. Tim is convinced that his life is about to collapse around him already. He is unsure what he wants to do, but is considering the unthinkable. Colin arrives just in time, but isn’t trying to save Tim. Colin is fascinated by death, and just wants to see Tim make his decision.”

Why our reviewer loved it: “In what could have become a stupendously dull and dark affair, Please Stand Clear is peppered with blasting comedy, striking a wonderful juxtaposition with the solemnity of its content. These cleverly written jabs and japes are accentuated by Hammond and Di Feo’s electric and elastic chemistry. Hammond is especially commendable in his portrayal of the wacky Colin, making questionably-strange-yet-always-purposeful movements. My eyes were practically glued to him whenever he went off on some odd tangent.”

Read our full review here!

Photo of Tracey Erin Smith in THE BIG HOUSE provided by the artist

The Big House (Soulo Theatre)

What it’s about: When you’re a little kid and your Dad goes to jail, does a part of you go with?”

Why our reviewer loved it: THE BIG HOUSE makes it clear that one’s story is an ongoing work in progress; the key is growth and change, reinvention and redemption. Smith says that she sees what a person can do “when a heart starts to feel safe again.” With this show’s big, healing heart, I foresee that she’s going to have some of the biggest houses of the Fringe.”

Read our full review here!