Three Fringe reviews from guest critic Deneh’Cho Thompson

For the first time, I have a guest critic on my blog. Welcome, Deneh’Cho Thompson!

Here’s how Deneh describes himself: “Deneh’Cho Thompson (Dene) is a mixed-race First Nations writer, director, actor, and arts administrator based in Vancouver. Through work with various local organizations—including The Talking Stick Festival, The Vancouver Fringe, and the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance—Deneh works to elevate the voices of under-represented artists on our stages.”

Here are Deneh’s first three reviews—and he’s got another six coming!

Swordplay: A Play of Swords is at the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Seann Murray will steal your heart in Swordplay: A Play of Swords


Swordplay: A Play of Swords is an ode to my childhood.

This joyous, swashbuckling, nostalgia-filled romp from Toronto’s Sex T-Rex should be on everyone’s shortlist. I sat on the edge of my seat, bounced up and down, giggled, and howled with laughter.

The frame of the show is 80s and 90s video-game culture. This might seem a bit niche, but I saw audience members of all ages enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, staying true to the video-game framework led to my only complaint: a million false endings. Regardless, the show follows through well.

Two things make this show for me. The pop-culture references are innumerable: Dumas, Tolkien, Chrono Trigger, 80s pop, current politics…the list goes on. This makes it easy for everyone to find something to latch onto, something to make them smile and remember happier days. The second winning factor is the skill of the performers. Strong improv skills from the entire team make the show present, alive, and enthusiastic.

This is a show for everyone. Expect it to sell out.

Remaining Shows: False Creek Gym on September 9 (8:20 p.m.), 13 (5:15 p.m.), 14 (10:05 p.m.), 15 (6:45 p.m.), 17 (1 p.m.) [Read more…]

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