Top nine sight-unseen picks for the Vancouver Fringe

Peter n' Chris and the Kinda OK Corral, Vancouver Fringe

Peter n’ Chris will tickle you stupid in Peter ‘n Chris and the Kinda OK Corral

The number of choices offered by the Fringe program guide can be overwhelming. To help you out, here are my top nine (sight-unseen) picks for the Vancouver Fringe.


Magic Unicorn Island: Solo artist Jayson McDonald is a bone fide Fringe star. A couple of years ago, we gave Underbelly, his show about William S. Burroughs, the Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice Award. His Giant Invisible Robot was also fantastic.

Peter n’ Chris and the Kinda OK Corral: This comic duo is consistently hilarious. Laugh your face off.

Little One: Toronto’s Hannah Moscovitch is a fascinating playwright, and the artistic team from Alley Theatre—director Amiel Gladstone, and actors Daniel Arnold and Marisa Smith—is top-tier.

Chase and Stacey’s Joyride: Last year, Chase Padgett’s 6 Guitars walked away with the Critics’ Choice Award. I don’t know the work of this year’s artistic partner, Stacey Hallal, but, at this point, I’d go see Chase Padgett in anything.


Industry: the Food Must Go Out: Comic dervish Pippa Mackie (The Progressive Polygamists) teams up with Nik Bunting, whom I don’t know, to explore something actors know a lot about: waiting tables.

The Dark Fantastic: Martin Dockery is a fantastic monologuist. At previous Fringe’s, I’ve loved his Wanderlust and The Bike Trip. I wasn’t so crazy about last year’s Bursting Into Flames, but real artists take risks and Dockery is a real artist.

The Unfortunate Ruth: Tara Travis, who created last year’s excellent Searching For Dick, returns with this story about the psychic connection between a pair of twins.


Dirty Old Woman: Why hasn’t this company listed its full cast in the program guide? They are the draw: Susinn McFarlen, Robert Salvador, Emmelia Gordon, and Alison Kelly.

The Emergency Monologues: The Fringe has taught me that trusting reviews from other cities—especially Winnipeg—is a very bad idea. But this show about the solo artist’s Emergency Room experiences comes with enthusiastic endorsements from Toronto’s NOW Magazine and Eye Weekly, which are usually pretty reliable.

Keep your eyes peeled in the Straight and at for my reviews of the Victoria Fringe. I’ll be seeing nine shows there that will also be coming to Vancouver and my responses will hit the streets and the e-waves on September 3, just before the start of the Vancouver Fringe.

I’ll be reviewing more Vancouver Fringe shows for the Straight. I’ll also be tweeting and posting more on this blog.

The Vancouver Fringe consistently offers some of the best shows we get to see all year. So go Fringe yourself silly!



About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.


  1. You should also see Lac/Athabasca, if you’re interested in a touching story about water, oil, trains and the people who live in this country…

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