REVIEWS: Adventurous acts get site-specific at the Fringe Festival

BY SARAH BERMAN, VANCOUVER SUN

wreckage

When: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 p.m.

Where: Granville Island ferry dock

Exposed barnacles, towering pillars and a few spastic gulls set the scene. As a metaphor for the underbelly of a repressed mind, the space below Granville Island’s ferry dock plays a lead role in wreckage.

To begin, actor and producer Nita Bowerman peels back pages of a childhood diary. Aided by scuba diver Renee Sutton, she explores the murky subconscious of a woman scorned by her family.

Bowerman’s solo debut stands as a boundary-pushing exercise in catharsis. With minimal lighting she confronts and conveys a tempest of physical emotion.

Though the venue is public, the performance feels intimate. Just over a dozen sparsely-arranged stools and floor mats line the pier.

Yum/Yuck

When: Friday and Saturday 8:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., Sunday at 8:00 p.m.

Where: Semperviva Sea Studio

“Is this organic?”

Well, not exactly. Watch as unhinged yoga instructor Ingrid Nilson literally bounces off walls and swings from the rafters.

The solo performance directed by Ryan Swanson is not terribly thick on plot, but makes up for it with a bastion of unpredictable acrobatics. Alternating banter with impish dance numbers, Nilson boasts a bottomless vault of yogic in-jokes—courtesy of her day job at Y-Yoga.

With False Creek condos leaning through the studio’s windows, the site-specific piece is very Vancouver for more reasons than one. Before you get here, make sure you’re comfortable taking off your shoes and sitting on the floor cross-legged.

Lost in Place

When: Tonight (Monday) 9:10 p.m., Tuesday 9:00 p.m., Wednesday 8:45 p.m., Thursday 9:15 p.m., Friday 8:55 p.m., Saturday 8:45 p.m.

Where: Big yellow crane

A crash-landed spaceman and beached whale named Martha make sensible companions under the glow of golden Christmas lights.

This oddball participatory comedy crafted by Seth Soulstein is a two-hander, although the crane makes three.

Clad in silver spandex, a wide-eyed Soulstein proves his improvising chops. Never does he break character—even when a wayward space egg nicks a nearby car. (In the universe of public drama, one has to be prepared for anything).

Along with co-star Claire Hesselgrave, audiences are asked to play a game of “asky-tellsy” with the co-author of last year’s award-winning Wicked Shorts. Wielding a dog-eared copy of Windows for Dummies, the caped protagonist appears authentically bewildered by all things Earthly.

Come prepared for interactivity: answer questions, move around and reach out and grab whenever possible. Standing room only.

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