The 2015 Ottawa Fringe Festival is only days away. This week, Allan Mackey and Valerie Cardinal talked with some of this year’s presenters and pored over all the available material for all 56 shows at this year’s festival in order to decide the ten shows they thought were the most exciting and/or intriguing. From the 12th to the 16th, they’ll be highlighting those shows. Then on the 17th, we’ll talk about a few honourable mentions and give you a video preview of five local shows sure to entertain. Happy Fringing!
What is Hannah & George
George is a simple man…just a lonely loser, looking for love. But how can he find it with Hannah, a magic invisible fairy, always hanging around? An all-ages friendly, almost wordless romantic comedy that is ready to make you believe in the power of laughter, the magic of theatre, and of course, the glory of love.
Starring Madeleine Hall and Kevin Reid, Directed by Jodi Morden.
Where and when to see Hannah & George
Venue 4: Studio Léonard-Beaulne
June 19th – 8:00pm
June 20th – 4:00pm
June 22nd – 6:00pm
June 24th – 10:00pm
June 26th – 9:00pm
June 27th – 11:00pm
Why we’re excited about Hannah & George
Kevin Reid is perhaps best known in circles ’round these parts as proprietor of The Visitorium where he spent a good handful of years building a reputation as theatre reviewer and promoter and friend to the community at large. After making the conscious decision to delve into the artist side of the world, he went full in, enrolling himself in the Ottawa Theatre School and getting involved in a number of high level workshops including spending a summer at clown camp.
Which brings us to this, his first full act show — nearly fully nonverbal and rooted in physical movement and the art of clowning. Upon first hearing of the show, I couldn’t help but think of 2012’s fantastic Vernus Says Surprise (by Ken Godmere). It’s ambitious. And it’s challenging. As somebody still very early in his career, could this be the bite too big to chew?
While I’ve personally yet to see Reid perform, I’ve heard good things from trusted sources, and in my experience OTS isn’t known for releasing layabouts into the wild. (Reid is joined for this show by fellow OTS alumni in co-star Madeleine Hall and director Jodi Morden.)
Additionally, this is a style of theatre that feels to me like it’s right up Reid’s alley. He has the stature, countenance, and presence to be the kind of strong physical performer who could pull this type of show together well if he’s ready to put his training to good use.
The truth is that sometimes you just have to chalk things up to instinct and mine are telling me this show is going to be some lighthearted fun and worth an advance ticket buy.
And look at that photo. It’s adorable. It sells the concept and everything I’ve said better than anything else I can add here. Yeah. Forget everything I just said and just pay attention to the adorable level in that photo.
Neon rainbow socks, people.