Ten (+ten) shows not to be missed at this year's Vancouver Fringe Festival. Photo: Vancouver Fringe Festival / Daisy Yang
Ten (+ten) shows not to be missed at this year's Vancouver Fringe Festival. Photo: Vancouver Fringe Festival / Daisy Yang

Picking which shows to see at the Vancouver Fringe Festival is a combination of knowledge, luck, timing, and even a tiny bit of witchcraft. With so many shows to choose from, deciding what to see can be overwhelming for even the seasoned Fringe goer. Here are ten (plus ten) shows, in no particular order, that we’re not going to miss this year.

Love is a Battlefield
Martin Dockery & Vanessa Quesnelle, creators of last year’s critically acclaimed Moonlight After Midnight, return with Love is a Battlefield, a new drama about love, fear, and desperation.
How could someone who reviews theatre not be interested in a show about reviewing theatre? Vancouver's Bleeding Heart Theatre presents A Dog at a Feast, Michelle Deines' examination of the power of the fear of judgement, and how we are all our own worst critics.
How could someone who reviews theatre not be interested in a show about reviewing theatre? Vancouver’s Bleeding Heart Theatre presents A Dog at a Feast, Michelle Deines’ examination of the power of the fear of judgement, and how we are all our own worst critics.
One of several new musicals premiering at this year's Fringe, How To Adult: The Musical is the story of four 20-somethings trying to get their shit together in present-day Vancouver. Set to music.
One of several new musicals at this year’s Fringe, How To Adult: The Musical is the story of four 20-somethings trying to get their shit together in present-day Vancouver. Set to music.
First seen at the Shift 1-Act Festival in 2014, Katey Hoffman & Cheyenne Mabberley return as Jules and Fiona in The After After Party. Find out why I compared them to Saunders and French.
First seen at the Shift 1-Act Festival in 2014, Katey Hoffman & Cheyenne Mabberley return as Jules and Fiona in The After After Party. Find out why we compared them to Saunders and French.
Not Enough
One-person shows are a dime-a-dozen at the Fringe, but when you combine comic actor Megan Phillips with Fringe veteran TJ Dawe, you have the formula for a winner. In her autobiographical dark comedy, Not Enough, Phillips comes face-to-face with demons she didn’t even know existed.
Great Day For Up
Vancouver’s Electric Theatre Company celebrates its 20th anniversary season with Great Day For Up, written and first performed in 1996 by the Electric Theatre Company’s co-artistic director & co-founder, Jonathon Young, when he was an acting student at Studio 58. The show also marks the 20th anniversary of the company’s Fringe debut. Image by Bold Rezolution Studio.
Mind of a Snail Puppet Co returns to the Fringe with Curious Contagious. A surreal quest into the microscopic innards of a mythical beast, the company's signature look combines handmade layered projections and an original musical soundtrack.
Mind of a Snail Puppet Co returns to the Fringe with Curious Contagious. A surreal quest into the microscopic innards of a mythical beast, the company’s signature look combines handmade layered projections and an original musical soundtrack.
Okay, we admit we can be as sophmoric as the next guy so 2 Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick: A Dirk Darrow Investigation had us with its title. Fortuntely this one-man comedy film noir magical murder mystery also comes with a pedigree, taking Best of Fringe awards at eight other Fringe Festivals around the globe.
Okay, we admit we can be as sophomoric as the next guy so 2 Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick: A Dirk Darrow Investigation had us with its title. Fortunately this one-man comedy film noir magical murder mystery also comes with a pedigree, having already taken eight Best of Fringe awards around the globe.
A follow-up to last year’s Being Animal, Theatre Terrific and Aboriginal Front Door collaborate with Hidden Stories. A journey of song, dance, mask, and music the performance takes place once again outside at Granville Island's Sculpture Grove.
A follow-up to last year’s Being Animal, Theatre Terrific and Aboriginal Front Door collaborate with Hidden Stories. A journey of song, dance, mask, and music the performance takes place once again outside at Granville Island’s Sculpture Grove.
What is reality? Pepper’s Ghost New Media Collective explores the question with an eclectic mix of live theatrical performance, real-time motion capture, 3D animation, and electronic music.
What is reality? Pepper’s Ghost New Media Collective explores the question in Manipulation, with an eclectic mix of live theatrical performance, real-time motion capture, 3D animation, and electronic music.

And because we have no self-control, here are ten more that we’re planning to take in as well:

  • The Dance Teacher – the subject matter is tough but it is hard to ignore (forgive the nepotism) as it features our very own David C Jones.
  • Charlatan – we have at least one curse needed lifting. We wonder if Travis take requests?
  • The Old Woman – former Ballet BC performer, John Grady, tells the story of his mother’s journey into dementia.
  • Best Picture – on our list from 2014, we are bound and determined to get to this one this year.
  • Mind Games – we’ve always wanted to put a mentalist to the test. What am I thinking now?
  • The Secret – the 2nd in our nepotism series, Vancouver Presents writer Chelsey Stuyt makes her Fringe debut.
  • The Jupiter Rebellion: A Zach Zultana Adventure –  a sci-fi comedy? We’re in!
  • Carry On: A Musical – winner of the 2015 Smackdown 24-hour musical theatre competition, this homegrown musical has lots of baggage.
  • The Orbweaver – all the way from Mexico City, this dark and twisted folktale gets its world premiere in Vancouver.
  • And Bella Sang With Us – we love comeback stories as playwright Sally Stubbs presents the next iteration of her story of Vancouver’s first women police officers.

The 32nd annual Vancouver International Fringe Festival runs September 8-18 on Granville Island (and beyond).  Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.