Fringe Benefits – 2019 Edmonton Fringe Festival – Where the Wild Things Fringe – August 2019

We have always made an effort to attend this summer festival, but have not always gone to a play or plays. We would go down to the area and feel the exciting vibe, watch some street performers and eat some street food (translate – green onion cakes or those darn little donuts).

Those of you who read my earlier post on Edmonton’s summer festivals already know that the Edmonton Fringe Festival which started in 1982 is the largest fringe theater festival in North America and the 2nd largest in the world, after only the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Every year, a new record seems to be established and 2019 was no exception. In the 11 days of this year’s festival. 147,358 show tickets were sold to more than 1,900 live performances at 50 venues, box office revenue of $1.72 million dollars and 848,263 visits to the Fringe Festival.

The difference this year was that we did not go to watch the street performers. Instead we took in one play during the festival. Two for Tea/James and Jamesy, a physical comedy that has been winning awards at Fringe Festivals all over North America. It was light-hearted and had a lot of good laughs throughout, as the story was told. There was a good deal of audience participation as well. You can see more info on the show at this link. https://www.jamesandjamesy.com/2-for-tea/

While we were standing in the hall at the theater venue, an artist from another play was making the rounds, trying to promote his play which was being held over past the festival end date. Initially, we were not interested, but, took a brochure, thinking our neighbours might be. Turns out our neighbours did not go, but we did.

The title of this play was Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me, but the Banjo Saved My Life. Intriguing right? Our Vancouver son was in town for a visit and we used this event as a family outing. The play is a true story, definitely has a message and tugs at the heartstrings n places. All ticket revenues from the performance were donated to worthy charities. At the end of the play, the artist and producer sat down for dialogue with the attendees. In any case, if you want to know more on the play, here is the link https://www.vancouverpresents.com/2018-vancouver-fringe/fringe-review-tomatoes-tried-to-kill-me-but-banjos-saved-my-life-is-an-intimate-and-affecting-show/ . This link is from last year’s Vancouver show and that is where it was playing next.

So, the moral of the story is, go to the performances if you can, because we picked two winners. Cheers for now.

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