Adventures in a “time masheen” and other tales from the Fringe

The Toronto Fringe Festival is on. And it features a time machine. Or rather, a “time masheen.”

Let’s Travel in Time is a pay-what-you-can ‘shed show’ at the Fringe Club, the pop-up market and performance space in the lot behind Honest’s Ed’s. A ‘shed show’ is quite literally a show held in the 8 x 8 shed on the lot. I piled in with a friend and some strangers on Thursday night, and we took a little trip through time (I don’t want to share any spoilers, because this could alter the very fabric of our reality).

After my light-hearted adventure through the time-space continuum, I enjoyed wandering around the Fringe Club. With drinks, food, arts and crafts and a mock campfire, this is great spot to hang out, chat with strangers, and learn more about Fringe performances. Plus, you can buy show tickets on site.

I bought a ticket for Weird: The Witches of Macbeth simply because it was playing nearby at the Randolph Theatre and the show would be starting soon (it was nearing 11:00 p.m.–there are some great late night options at the Festival). A quick Google search also revealed that Weird won ‘best of the fest’ at the Ottawa Fringe Festival last year; I was intrigued.

I haven’t read Macbeth, but after seeing that performance, I’d like to (or at least watch the film version with Michael Fassbender). I tried watching Fassbender’s Macbeth on my flight to Australia earlier this year, but I fell asleep; I now feel a whole lot more motivated to give the story a go. With simple staging and costumes, plus the use of aerial silks, Weird was well-acted and compelling. I went in with minimal context about the story and characters, but now I want to learn more about the three witches, and about Macbeth.

I also want to see more Fringe shows. Some of the shows I might catch if I can: Everything Else is Sold Out, Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical by Jane Austen and Penny Ashton and Romeo and Juliet Chainsaw Massacre. One I can recommend as I’ve seen it before (well, kind of) is Songbuster – An Improvised Musical. Because the musical is improvised, you can’t be sure what you’re going to get, but I greatly enjoyed a show at the Bad Dog Theatre Company a couple of months ago.

The Toronto Fringe Festival began on June 29 and runs until July 10, so it has just begun. At $12 a ticket, it’s a really affordable way to experience theatre and performance arts in the city, and importantly, support local and independent artists. Shows take place in venues and non-traditional performance spaces all over The Annex, and the Fringe Club is definitely worth a visit too, with plenty of free programming and a fun vibe.



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