Sixty shows will be a part of the Ottawa Fringe Festival this year. There is no possible way to see them all. How to choose, then? We put out a call to presenting artists with a challenge. We’ll meet with all those interested. We’ll give you three minutes (roughly). You convince us why we see should see your show. Kind of like speed dating. In fact, that’s what we called it. In this case, everybody we selected got a literal calendar date. Every day from now til the start of the festival, we’re publishing a profile on one selected show. Today, that show is Little Green Hat’s Tales She Tells.
Tales She Tells is a one-person show about a young woman’s struggle to find some way to reconnect with her mother, causing her to embark on a re-examination of the ancient tales of Irish folklore and mythology that her mother told her when she was growing up. Along her journey, experienced through movement, music, and storytelling, she begins to realize that the stories she idolized when she was younger might be far less romantic and fanciful than she once thought.
Tales She Tells was written and will be performed by Tess Mc Manus. It’s being directed and dramaturged by Dave Dawson of Black Sheep Theatre.
What I Liked About Tales She Tells
Tess Mc Manus is one of Ottawa’s rising stars. The recent U of O grad (Bachelor of Arts with a Specialization in Theatre) wowed audiences in 2012 with her first solo show Donkey Derby, about a young woman’s working through her fears and social anxiousness after being enlisted against her will to compete in her town’s annual donkey derby. Donkey Derby toured to three Canadian cities, including Winnipeg where it was audience-rated 4.5 stars by the Winnipeg Free Press.Like in life, as evidenced at our speed date, Mc Manus has great charm and charisma when she steps on stage. This translates into her grand ability to draw you into her performance and hold you enthralled in the world being presented in front of you.
Why the bio? Because Tales She Tells is a solo storytelling show and the most important quality any solo storytelling show has to have is a quality performer behind the stories. I, and I’m sure you, have seen solo storytelling shows that are seared into your mind as highlights of your festival-going experiences and ones that you’ve already forgotten, or pray to. Tess Mc Manus, and the lyrical quality she brings to bear, is one of the ones worth watching.
The other consideration, naturally, is subject matter. Tess created Tales She Tells, inspired by her strong passion for Irish culture and the traditional folklore that’s a part of her heritage. These ancient and charming fables of gods and goddesses, of kings and queens and magic, and of love and murder and betrayal are what will be brought to life on stage at Academic Hall in Ottawa in a week’s time. All framed from the perspective of a young woman re-evaluating them now that she’s older and bringing a critical eye to the sometimes strange morals these stories represent. Mc Manus knows her material, so if this is the type of storytelling you think you’ll enjoy, you almost certainly will.
Also worth mentioning, Tess is taking Tales She Tells on the road after Ottawa, touring off to Regina, Winnipeg, and Edmonton.
For more information about Tales She Tells including show time and how to buy tickets, visit their show page on the Ottawa Fringe Festival website: http://ottawafringe.com/tickets/tales-she-tells/
You can also check out Tess’ own website, for more details about Tales She Tells, including upcoming dates, and more photos: tessmcmanus.com