Swordplay: A Play of Swords

Swordplay: A Play of Swords was a great end to a full day at the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Making their Vancouver Fringe debut, Toronto’s evocatively named Sex T-Rex comedy troupe brings a mash-up of video games, traditional swashbucklers, and modern classics (think Game of Thrones).

At times laugh-out-loud funny, what helps Swordplay rise above other parodies of its kind is the imaginative ways in which this creative cast brings it all to life; just wait until you see how a red piece of cloth is magically transformed into a dragon.

Even as things didn’t always go to plan, the entire cast – Conor Bradbury, Julian Frid, Kaitlin Morrow, Seann Murray and, Peter Carlone – rolled with the punches, always landing on their feet thanks to their improv backgrounds.

The premise of Swordplay is that of a video game come to life. And while the occasional visual reference brought us back to the video game aesthetic, it did seem quite arbitrary at times.

I admit to have never been a video game player, so while I could still appreciate the main concept, I found myself more connected to some of the other pop culture references. My theatre companion however, grew up with games of the kind represented here, and was delighted.

It was the ability to find a way into Swordplay which makes it so successful. You don’t have to be a video playing geek to appreciate it (although it will undoubtedly add to the experience).

And yes, there is plenty of swordplay. Some of it was pretty spectacular.

4 Out of 5 Stars

Swordplay: A Play of Swords continues at the False Creek Gym (1318 Cartwright St, Granville Island until September 17 as part of the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival. Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.