The Vancouver Fringe Festival experience is now a year-round affair as the annual celebration of theatre presents five shows between now and its 2014 edition in September.
First up and currently on stage at the Waterfront Theatre, is Charlie Ross’s One Man Lord of the Rings, a re-creation of the epic Peter Jackson movie trilogy based on Tolkien’s novels, performed in under 70 minutes. A darling of the Fringe circuit since 2004 when Gandalf himself, Sir Ian McKellen, attended a performance and endorsed the show, Ross has been touring the world with this and his One Man Star Wars show ever since.
Be warned though, Ross’s frenetic show is targeted at the LOTR fanatic more than at us lowly fans. If you don’t know a Ringwraith from an Ork or a Nazgul then you will very likely be left behind. In fact during one break Ross says “I don’t know what you’re getting out of this” to those in the audience that confess to not having seen the movies. But even for the casual LOTR fan, it is as if you’ve walked into a living, breathing inside joke where only the biggest of LOTR geeks and nerds are in on it. Ross throws in a few other pop movie culture references which are welcome, but they are few and too far between for those of us with a lesser knowledge of the massive story. But for many in the audience, Ross obviously hits a nerve, laughing and clapping their way through his 65 minutes that literally leave a puddle of his sweat on stage.
With One Man Lord of the Rings the first of five shows in the Fringe Presents series, the intent is to provide audiences an opportunity to get to know these artists whose popularity has skyrocketed since performing at the Fringe.
“Presenting shows outside the Festival gives audiences the chance to really sink their teeth into them in a way you can’t do during the hustle of the Fringe,” says Vancouver Fringe Executive Director David Jordan.
Other shows in the series include Hockey Night at the Puck and Pickle Pub (Feb 13-15), Nashville Hurricane (Mar 19-23), and Little Orange Man / Kitt & Jane (May 7-11). Naturally all performances will take place at venues on Granville Island. Visit http://www.vancouverfringe.com for more information.