Fringe 2013: Freud’s Last Session review

A philosopher and an author walk into a study… 

It sounds like the beginning of a nerdy graduate student’s joke, but rather than the first part of a cheesy one-liner, it’s the simple premise behind the great two-man-onslaught that is Freud’s Last Session.

Freud invites C. S. Lewis over to his home outside London to start the show. It’s the beginning of the German bombings during the second World War – the warning sirens are literally sounding outside during points of the show – but these two men have much more pressing matters to address.

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Fringe 2013: Innocent When You Dream review

Innocent When You Dream is a great example of a show trying to follow the fringe formula, but failing badly.

Zeb West, attempts to mash the tales of Moby Dick and Don Quixote into a single story that sees himself, and the novels’ protagonist trapped in the belly of a whale. West uses puppets, curses, and – admittedly interesting – props fashioned from the wreckage of ships to try and show audiences a good time, but his anachronistic jokes fall flat, and his puppetry and awkward audience participation lack substance. Innocent When You Dream is listed at 60 minutes, but I clocked it at 36.

A long 36 minutes that should be spent elsewhere.

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Fringe 2013: What Gives? review

If you ask any trained musician about the rests written on their score, they’ll tell you that the moments of silence are equality important to the notes meant to be heard.

This production What Gives? doesn’t feature any live musicians at all (the actors sing along with a quiet, prerecorded accompaniment) and while the basic foundations for an ok show are present, the cast’s performances – or more accurately, the lack there of during the quiet, and off-focus moments really drag the show down. Kind of like a musician who forgot to “play” their rests.

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Fringe 2013: Limbo review

There’s a healthy bit of confusion going on in Limbo, but If you’ve got an obsessive penchant for one-man monologues, it shouldn’t disappoint you too badly.

Andrew Bailey tells a story of his own coming of age while coping with various social anxiety issues often stemming from his religion, and at the same time he tries to deliver a humorous, yet serious explanation of the meaning of life. He purports to solve the philosophical question in the first minute of his monologue and then “unsolve” it for the next 59.

This premise is a fairly successful one, but depending on how you interpret his solution, you might feel that he either undersells the rest of the play, or too drastically diverges from his initial point.

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