We sat down with any company/artist presenting at Ottawa Fringe (starting June 19th!) who wanted to chat about their upcoming shows. We gave them three minutes (approximately) to make their best case as to why we should pick them. We called it speed dating. From now through the day before Fringe starts we’re choosing one local, one national, and one international artist from those we talked to and previewing them here. Today’s national pick is Concrete Drops’ Moonlight After Midnight
A man and a woman meet in a hotel room at midnight. Are they lovers? Siblings? Old friends? Perfect strangers? Or something far more sinister? In Moonlight after Midnight, as its actress Vanessa Quesnelle explains, “the audience is taken on a ride trying to discover exactly what the relationship between these two people is”. Quesnelle’s co-star, Martin Dockery, describes it as “a puzzle-box of a show … If it works right, then the enjoyment of the audience will come not just in what is happening on stage but in the joy of figuring out a puzzle.” Are you intrigued yet?
What I Liked About Moonlight After Midnight
Unfortunately –or perhaps fortunately in this case – Dockery and Quesnelle are tight-lipped about what exactly this show entails. All they’ll reveal is as follows:
- It’s a mystery about love and loss
- It’s a dramatic, serious play with a traditional fourth-wall and linear narrative structure
- The concept of the show has been percolating in Dockery’s brain for years
- They’ve been working on it since winter
- It will be having its debut in Ottawa
- The show’s theme song, if it had one, would be Patsy Cline’s Walking after Midnight
- It’s like Memento or Inception, in the sense of needing active cognitive participation from the audience – and in the sense of being totally cool!
That’s not much to go on, right? But you really don’t need anything other than the show’s pedigree to declare it a must-see. Allow me to explain: Two years ago, a little show called Wanderlust came to the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Since I’m not much for travel adventure stories, I rolled my eyes and perused the rest of the program until my then-boyfriend told me it was his choice for Best of Fest. “That good, hunh?” I shifted my schedule and went to see what all the fuss was about firsthand.
I’m ashamed to say I didn’t recognize him at the time, but the writer and performer (Martin Dockery) had also starred in Bursting into Flames at the London Fringe Festival the year before when I was there. I had thoroughly enjoyed Bursting into Flames and Wanderlust was even better – in fact, it did go onto win Best of Fest.
With that accomplishment under his belt, Dockery returned last year with another solo storytelling show but he also upped the ante by including a more traditional theatrical piece in his tour. The Pit, starring Dockery and Quesnelle, was a very good play that has led to my current eager anticipation of Moonlight after Midnight. Without more than a foggy clue of what this show is about, I’m sure it will be exceedingly excellent if only because it has Dockery at its helm.
For more information on Moonlight After Midnight including show time and how to buy tickets, visit their show page on the Ottawa Fringe Festival website: http://ottawafringe.com/tickets/moonlight-after-midnight/
For the OnStage Ottawa review, visit http://www.onstageottawa.com/moonlightaftermidnightreview/