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Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Fringetastic Day 9

Great shows still abound going into the homestretch

Posted By on Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Mona_Rita.jpg

The intimate confines of Plutonium Playhouse are gloriously filled by actor Daniel Foley’s rich, mellifluous voice in Tiresias and The Player King. Foley is a classically-trained actor who has created a one-man show that tenuously joins story of Hamlet’s Player King with that of the blind Greek oracle Tiresias. Foley’s Player King is a memorable character, an old man reliving the most glorious moment of his past and still proving himself to be a fine actor. The show is not perfect—- theTiresias section is somehow less alive than the rest of the play, and the overly subdued lighting means that many of Foleys’s facial expressions are lost—- but I’d still highly recommend catching this performance.

A candlelit Saint Matthew’s Church was the perfect setting for George Dillon’s powerful The Gospel of Matthew. While I’m sure it wasn’t the first time that this particular story had been told from that pulpit, I have no doubt it has never been told so expertly, memorably and with such conviction. Dillon manages to make his Jesus both human and somehow more than human. HIs sermons and parables are riveting. And Dillon also vividly conjures up so many other familiar characters, from the grasping Judas to the unfaithful Peter. Dillon gave a tour-de-force performance that breathed new life into an old, familiar story.

My last show of the night was MonaRita, a dark and twisted comedy that made me laugh and think. Mona (Sara Tilley) is a frumpy housewife brought low by motherhood. Rita (Ruth Lawrence) is a brittle middle-aged woman searching for the right man to complete her. This unlikely pair forges a co-dependent friendship that spins out of control as they each approach the edge of insanity. Tilley is charmingly terrifying as the needy young mother and Lawrence is pitch-perfect as the outwardly poised but inwardly confused Rita. The play has lots to say about female angst and relationships, and it does with panache.

For shows times and locations visit www.atlanticfringe.ca

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