Okay, so I’m not really getting out to see or review, well, anything these days. Which sucks, because I’m missing some cool shows, which is kind of unlike me. But even with my suddenly loopy rehearsal schedule, even I will be getting out this Thursday to catch the opening night of the coolest theatre party in town, the third FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL. From humble roots at the Pressed Cafe on Gladstone to last year’s shenanigans upstairs at the Lunenburg, the DIY Fest and brainchild of Jonah Allingham is back, this time in an honest to gosh theatre! Or, okay, Arts Court Library, but they have risers now and everything! And the Courtroom next door is being converted into a bar/lounge for in between and after shows, so I’m calling it an improvement. Like last year, the event is split into two weeks, now with five different companies presenting their original, twenty-minute works each weekend from Thursday thru Saturday. Ain’t no funner theatre bash in town, and here’s what you can look forward to having your collective worlds rocked by in the first weekend:
MY CARDBOARD LIFE from Backpack Theatre. Written by and starring Fresh Meat Founder Jonah Allingham his own bad self, and directed by the awesome Katie Swift (who Ottawa last saw in the amazing HROSES from Evolution Theatre). It don’t get much more do it yourself than cardboard box props, and that’s where Backpack is starting their latest theatrical adventure. Back for the third time at Fresh Meat, following the wicked cool SUMMER OF ’34 and THE B TEAM.
FORSTNER AND FILLISTER PRESENT: FORSTNER AND FILLISTER IN: FORSTNER AND FILLISTER from, you guessed it, Forstner and Fillister. A two-man comedy about the wild world of woodworking, starring Will Somers and Dave Benedict Brown, and directed by Melanie Karin Brown. That’s an impressive list of talent, and a whole lot of funny for just twenty minutes to try and contain. Will they be able to build something sturdy enough to do the job?? Come and see.
smash.bam.kapow. from Thunk! Theatre. Superheroic misadventures from the wonderful Karen Balcome and Geoff McBride, the dynamic duo that brought us BREAD and FAR & NEAR & HERE, as well as being the current holders of the coveted Rubber Chicken Award. Always innovative and inspirational, their presence is reason enough by itself to get your ticket.
ME AND MY MONSTER from Cart Before the Horse. Starring the unstoppable Megan Carty (soon to be seen again at the Avalon Studio in a reprise of SHAPE OF A GIRL starting on the 31st) in a one-woman show about the monsters under all our beds. Directed by Paul Griffin, and sure to be powerful medicine indeed.
THE BIG WEED from Traced Theatre. Some killer comedy to round out the first weekend, in this offering from the awesome Alli Harris, Lindsay van der Grinten, and director Gabbie Lazarovitz. After a solid debut at this year’s Ottawa Theatre Challenge, I can’t wait to see what Traced comes up with now.
That’s it for opening weekend…tho I should mention that smash.bam.kapow will only be playing the first two nights, and a SUPER SECRET SHOW will be offered in its stead on Saturday! Remember, the bar will be open the whole time, and you can get your advance tickets at the Fresh Meat Website! See you there, and again same time next week for a peek at Week Two (About which I’m oddly overexcited, for some reason…)! Peace, love and soul,
Kevin Reid (and Winston)