In this Winnipeg’s 30th Fringe Festival it’s good to see that it continues to be home to striving modest local productions while becoming party to a generation of permanent career Fringe performers.
Three generations sing, dance, and act their way through a thousand years of British history culminating in song-listing monarchs.
Performed in the appropriately historic Pantages Playhouse, HamDad’s limited technical budget make the production hard to hear at times which is exacerbated by some actors’ too rapid delivery.
This does not include the K-Tel like humorous commercials expounding the ease of employing a Victorian maid or enticing Lady Jane Grey to seek the crown.
Overall the acting is spirited and the production is a fun experience for most of the family with the exception of those under eight.
Vancouver’s also aptly descriptive Monster Theatre’s production “The Canada Show: The Complete History of Canada in One Hour” is an example of how the Fringe has grown into an entire industry consisting of long-lasting careers and production companies.
The Canada Show is a slick and well thought out machine brought to you by the same people who have provided “Hockey Night at the Puck” and “Pickle Pub” and “Til Death: The Six Wives of Henry VIII”.
Reading like a not entirely politically correct joke, three plucky young Canadians – one English, one French, and one First Nations – go onto a stage with the shtick of tackling 20,000 years of Canadian history in one hour. They enthusiastically and seamlessly sing, dance, argue and entertain with great skill.
What CBC-raised Canadian adult wouldn’t relish the retelling of the Henry Hudson mutiny with Finnegan as the ringleader and Mr. Dress Up as Hudson. This is mostly adult fare but if your family includes pre-adolescents who understand cynicism, take them along too.