20 shows we're not going to miss at this year's Vancouver Fringe Festival
20 shows we're not going to miss at this year's Vancouver Fringe Festival

With so many choices, deciding what to see at the Vancouver Fringe Festival each year can be a seemingly impossible task.

Vancouver Presents writers Mark Robins and Katie Gartlan-Close have scoured this year’s program, taken their knowledge from previous years, and added a good dose of intuition (and a little dark magic) to come up with a list of twenty shows, in no particular order, that they are not going to miss at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Mark’s Picks

Small Town Boys – this one reminded me of Stand By Me, one of my favourite movies. I’m one of four brothers who also grew up in a “rough and tumble town”.

Mind Magic – Who doesn’t love love magic and mentalists? As much fun to watch as it is to try to figure out how they do it.

Martin Dockery: Delirium – I have always been a huge fan of Martin Dockery’s work and wouldn’t miss this consummate storyteller’s latest work.

Gossamer Obsessions – this sketch comedy show comes recommended from other Fringe performers. High praise indeed.

Box of Freedom – I always thought a shipping container would make for a great site-specific play about human smuggling. And here it is (minus the actual shipping container).

Rocko and Nakota: Tales From the Land – the intersection of Indigenous and modern storytelling has always held a fascination.

The Other Side of the Flood – science fiction on stage is always intriguing. The bonus here is it is described as “spoken word musical theatre”.

Dyck Spacee – A Spy-Fi Improvised Radio Play – there’s a theme happening here. More Sci-Fi, but this time with a sense of humour.

Al Lafrance: I Think I’m Dead – burning the candle at both ends is the new norm.

Unscriptured – religion and irreverence. Who could ask for anything more?

Katie’s Picks

The F Words –  receiving an honourable mention from Theatre BC’s 2014 Playwriting competition, this one is personal.

Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life – if the name isn’t enough to grab your attention, maybe you will be happy to hear that this show is for all ages. And the tomatoes are evil.

A Sad-Ass Cabaret – why do we love sad-ass music? We get to find out in this musical performance from Fringe superstar TJ Dawe & singer/songwriter Lindsay Robertson.

Hysteria – the all-female Direct Theatre Collective explore modern sexuality, social constructs, and societal bias in this musical show. Also, it “may contain a dance party”, so that’s always fun.

Red Bastard: Lie with Me – the award-winning trickster Red Bastard asks the audience the seemingly simply question: what are the rules of love?

Awkward Hug – Cory Thibert shares his 19-year-old self with us in this coming of age story.

SELF-ishenter the world of 35-year-old Korean-Canadian, Esther, after a recent tragedy. A funny and intimate tale.

Big Sister – based on a true story, this show is a comedy that follows two sisters in a time of dramatic change.

Rabbit Hole – David-Lindsay Abaire’s Pulitzer-Prize winning drama explores grief through an intimate performance.

F*ck Tinder: a Love Story in an age of dating apps, we are invited to hear about David Rodwin’s addiction and 120 dates over two years. Yikes!

And because we have no self-control, here are a five more (again in no particular order) that Mark and Katie think are worth checking out as well:

The 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival runs September 6-16 on Granville Island and stages around town. Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.