Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Dirty Fairy Tales (Winnipeg Fringe)

by Edgar Governo

Notions like "the fourth wall" and "suspension of disbelief" seem entirely out of place when talking about any Sound & Fury performance. (It's tough to maintain that "once upon a time" feeling when a tablet at the front of the stage is counting down how many seconds the troupe has left in the show.) This trio just wants to have fun at the theatre—tell some cheesy jokes, dress up in silly costumes, and banter with the audience.

Having said that, a little more focus might've been appreciated this time around. Unlike past Sound & Fury shows such as last year's Western take on Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, these fractured fairy tales are all over the map without much of a connecting thread to hold them together. Even the company itself seems somewhat aware of this, selling fridge magnets with memorable catchphrases from that previous production rather than trusting that this one would stick in one's mind as well.

Richard Maritzer, Patrick Hercamp, and Ryan Adam Wells haven't promised anything different, and the vaudevillian tone will be familiar...perhaps too anyone who has seen them perform at previous Fringes. One random reference to the short-lived television series Firefly, for instance, was clearly meant as a shout-out to those audience members in the know but only served to remind me that the series aired a decade ago, making me wish for some fresher pop-culture humour.

Dirty Fairy Tales absolutely lives up to its billing as "stupid, musical, and dirty," but prior experience has shown that these performers are capable of something much more clever amidst the raunch.


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