Theatre (Vancouver Fringe) review: Alpha misses the five-hole

What is it about hockey and booze that make it such a volatile combination?  In Evan Frayne’s new play Alpha, the consequences of alcohol abuse against the backdrop of every young Canadian man’s dream of hockey stardom has the potential to turn as deadly as any riot.

Compassionate Bone Theatre presents Evan Frayne's Alpha at the Vancouver International Fringe FestivalWritten and performed by Evan Frayne, Alpha is a semi-autobiographical story of Ricky who, like a lot of young men in this country, dreams of one day playing hockey in the NHL.  As Ricky’s dreams become lost in the bottom of a bottle, his actions behind the wheel one night are greater than any realization he may never reach the big leagues.

Frayne is terrific here with great contrast between the enthusiasm of the wide-eyed youth where anything is possible, and the quiet desperation of a man sinking into oblivion.  While Frayne gives an honest and vulnerable performance, his story does become repetitive.  While no doubt many will be able to empathize with the repetitive nature of Ricky’s small-town life, that mundane existence is never explored.  Coupled with an ending that lacked the impact necessary to make the proceeding minutes feel fully satisfying, Alpha misses the five-hole.

Part of the 2012 Vancouver International Fringe Festival
Studio 16, 1555 West 7th Avenue
7 – 15 September 2012

Visit or for tickets and information.

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