Woke up yesterday with a panic attack like none I’ve ever experienced. Stomach was queasy, tension was rising, and I honestly just needed to run and hide somewhere and have a really good cry. Hello, opening night, so THAT’S what you’re like.
But then, yesterday was the first official day of shows at the 2013 Ottawa Fringe Festival, so I’m guessing there were plenty of opening night jitters to go around. And even though I’m making my debut as an ‘actor’ at this year’s event, I’m still determined to see and, hopefully write about, as many other shows as I can. The Visitor’s got a rep to maintain, dont’cha know. So with that in mind I headed out to Academic Hall after work yesterday, tried to avoid eye contact with the critics lurking about, and took in my first show of the Fringe. I picked THE DAY WE GREW WINGS from Lonely Egg, by Victoria Luloff and Stewart Matthews. Miss Victoria is a pal of mine and I was jazzed to see what she’d come up with for her very first original Fringe play.
Starring herself, Zach Counsil and Nick Surges and directed by Stewart Matthews, WINGS tells several stories tied into one larger one. We’re regaled with several whimsical tales, brought to life in very impressive fashion by a talented cast…a lion-tamer runs away from the circus to become a pirate, only to have to outwit a crusty dragon. Hyenas stalk a fearful Elephant named Douglas in the wild, laughing all the way. And who is Clara, and the strange man selling second hand wings? Fairies and other mystical creatures loom in the shadows of a very imaginative show, with a load of pretty impressive sound and light design, as well as a smashing treelike centrepiece. The work on display by our three leads is terrific, using tiring-looking physical routines, song, and Zach Counsil’s trademark sleight of hand to weave their storytelling magic. The larger story itself was a little tricky for a dummy like me to put together, but no worries…just track Victoria down in the beer tent after and ask her what’s up. 🙂 Kudos to her and the rest of the gang for a really fun, special show…my Fringe is off to a good start. More soon! Peace, love and soul,
Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)