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 The Elephant Girls?
“Without doubt, they were the most notorious girl gang Britain’s ever seen. Clever, well-organized, devious and daring. Known for evading capture, glamorous clothes, high living, and violence. Only recently brought to light, this is the story of the all-women gang which terrorized London for over 100 years.”
The Elephant Girls is written/performed by Margo Macdonald and directed by Mary Ellis.
Where and when to see The Elephant Girls
Venue 4 – Studio Léonard Beaulne
June 20th – 7:30 pm
June 21st – 11:00 pm
June 22nd – 9:00 pm
June 25th – 6:30 pm
June 27th – 4:00 pm
June 28th – 2:30pm
Why we’re excited about The Elephant Girls
You know it’s going to be good when the artist starts off the speed date in character – especially if that artist is Rideau award-winning Margo MacDonald. This will be the second show she has written as a solo playwright at the Fringe. The first was 2010’s Shadows, which sold out its run completely and won quite a few Fringe awards (Outstanding Production, Fan Favourite, Best in Fest). As director Mary Ellis has awards of her own, this is a team with a lot of street cred behind it.
This production is also chock full of unexplored history. Even though The Elephant Girls is told from the perspective of a fictional character, it’s based in historical fact. Even better, the 40 Elephants gang was only uncovered in 2010 – an all-women gang that formed in 1870s London, enjoyed their heydey in the 1920s and only dissolved around the 1950s.
Much like its inspiration, The Elephant Girls is also an all-women affair. This production is entirely helmed by women, from Margo MacDonald and Mary Ellis to costumes by Vanessa Imeson, lighting design by Laura Wheeler and stage management by Laurie Shannon.
Finally, the theme certainly piqued my interest. In MacDonald’s own words, this show revolves around one important question: “Why do we romanticize violence in the past, but revile it when it happens in the present?”