Posted by: nancykenny | July 8, 2009

Nancy’s MUST SEE List at the Winnipeg Fringe

Many of you probably remember my MUST SEE List for the Ottawa Fringe Festival. It was, after all, one of my top posts in June. I figured it would be nice to do the same thing for the Winnipeg Fringe.

Now, this list won’t be as extensive as the Ottawa one for the following reasons:
1) I don’t have a VIP pass in Winnipeg which means seeing lots of shows could potentially become an expensive endeavor;
2) If I saw your show at this year’s Ottawa Fringe, I probably won’t see it again in Winnipeg;
3) I don’t know as many companies and their work in Winnipeg – new shows will probably be added to my list, but I might not blog about them all;
4) I’m in a new city and will need to spend a lot of my time promoting my own show.

Speaking of which, if you happen to be in Winnipeg (or know people who will be) between July 16 to 26, 2009, you should definitely come out and see No Exit Upstage. Buy your tickets in advance by clicking the link in order to guarantee a spot!

Why should you see my show? Well, here are some amazing reviews from the Ottawa Fringe to wet your whistle.

Alright, now on to my list, in alphabetical order:

52 Pick Up
I saw this show quite a few years ago in Ottawa when it was done by super couple Natalie Joy Quesnel and Stewart Matthews. This time it is performed by the amazing Gemma Wilcox, whose one-woman shows have always been ahit. It is written by Fringe God, TJ Dawe, and the description really says it all – “52 cards. 52 scenes about a relationship. Two actors shuffle, throw, pick up and play all 52 scenes. NO TWO SHOWS THE SAME!” If it’s in all caps, you know they are serious. It’s a very fun show and I can’t wait to see it again… sort of.

CRUMBS again for the first time

I saw these guys when I was in Toronto for the COMBUSTION festival. They were impressive to watch. A very tight and dynamic improv experience. Plus, like most good improv, it takes place in a bar.

Fall Fair
Boat Load was hands down my favorite show at the Ottawa Fringe Festival last year. Jayson McDonald (creator of the Big Comedy Go-To) wasn’t in Ottawa this year since it overlapped with the London Fringe Festival, so I’m looking forward to seeing his new offering in Winnipeg.

Jake’s Gift
Ok, I’m cheating a bit because I did recently see this in Ottawa during the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. However, Jake’s Gift represents everything I adore about performance: a compelling story created with love and passion, told through very simple and truthful means. Frankly, it was the only show during the MNTF that I absolutely adored and I would see it again. Scratch that. I will see it again and I’m bringing friends.

Spiral Dive: Episode Two

Spiral Dive: Episode One was a beautiful show I had the privilege of seeing in Ottawa. It even won an award for Outstanding Drama. I look forward to checking out the second installment of the trilogy in Winnipeg. It may be difficult however, since rumour has it they have already sold out all their advance tickets for the production.

So there are my top 5 picks for the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Feel free to check out the full show list and let me know what you would see.



  1. So glad you loved Jake’s Gift. If you see Jules after the show, tell her I say hi!

  2. Nancy,

    Fine choices you’ve made.

    In spite of the fact that we’re not going to the Winnipeg Fringe this year (sigh!), I’ve made a list of shows I would want to see if we were there:

    Spiral Dive II (THEATrePUBLIC)
    George Orwell is not my Real Name (English Suitcase Theatre Company)
    Grimmer than Grimm (Ribbit Productions and THEATrePUBLIC)
    Uncomfortable Winnipeg (Ryan Paulson)
    Inviting Desire (Eleanor Cathleen O’Brien)
    52 Pick Up (Gemma Wilcox)
    African Folk Tales (Eric de Waal)
    Dionysus in Stony Mountain (Ross McMillan)
    Lysistrata (Eyewitness Theatre)
    Tough! (George F. Walker)
    Theseus and the Minotaur (Struts and Frets Players)
    The Importance of Being Earnest (Manchester Central Theatre)
    The Exquisite Hour (Stewart Lemoine)
    Vaganza! (Sound and Fury)
    A Doll’s House (Ibsen)
    archy and mehitabel (directed by Jayson McDonald
    Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare (Joseph Aragon)
    Breakdance for Solo Cello (Solid State Breakdance)
    Fall Fair {Jayson McDonald)
    Fruitcake (Rob Gee)
    Gimpel the Fool (I.B. Singer)
    Gorilla/Antipode (Black Hole Theatre)
    Homeless (Jeremy Baumung)
    inanimate jungles have clocks (text: Jem Rolls and Jolene Bailie)
    Lavignia: A Modern Fairy Tale of Gigantic Proportions (Monster Theatre)
    Like Father, Like Son? Sorry. (Chris Gibbs)
    Wisdom Teeth (Chris Craddock and Eli Batalion)
    The Zoo Story (Edward Albee)
    The Seven Lives of Louis Riel (Monster Theatre)
    The Last Goddamned Performance Piece (Anne Wyman & Jayson McDonald)
    The Beverly Block (Eileen Longfield)
    She’s Not There (Alix Sobler)
    Raunch (Alice Nelson, Jacqueline Russell, TJ Dawe)
    Pinter’s Briefs (Kevin Williamson et al.)
    MOVING ALONG (Chris Craddock)
    Molotov Circus (Arne MacPherson, Debbie Patterson and their unfortunate offspring Gislina and Solmund)
    Mata Hari; Eroticism and Espionage (Talia Pura)

    This list does not include shows we have seen:

    Spiral Dive I
    Jake’s Gift
    Jem Rolls: Leastest Flops
    Heebs and Dweebs
    No Exit Upstage
    The Accident
    Grandpa Sol and Grandma Rosie
    In a Magic Kingdom

    And we’ve seen Weaverville Waltz before.

    I haven’t tried to sort them by preference. It was sufficiently masochistic preparing the list, without trying to sort it.

    Bremner Duthie has described the Winnipeg Fringe Festival as an orgy of theatre. Enjoy.


  3. Here’s a second for “archy and mehitabel” (which I saw twice at London Fringe, as well as a preview performance/double bill with “Fall Fair”). There’s a cookie in “Fall Fair” for folks who saw “Boat Load”, but that’s all I’ll say about that.

    Wanderlust (Martin Dockery) is one that should definitely be on the list. He won best original production here.

    Hadn’t noticed the Wyman/McDonald piece before. Sounds promising; will have to keep an eye out for it here, though, as I’m not going to be at Winnipeg Fringe.

  4. Allow me to emphasize the play: ‘Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare (Joseph Aragon)’ from the above list. Their opening show was tonight and I was in attendance and I was completely blown away by the sheer amount of talent present on that stage. I can’t reccomend it enough.

  5. […] Man and Boatload in the past (in fact you may remember that Boatload constantly makes my many Must See at Fringe lists). So, if you are anywhere near London (and even if you’re not, trust me, […]

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