By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
‘Tis very midsummer madness!” Oops, wrong Shakespeare play. Right spirit.
Our upcoming 36th annual Edmonton Fringe Festival, the oldest on the continent and still the biggest, has its signature theme.
As announced Thursday, come August 17 to 27 at our gigantic alternative theatre bash, you’ll be binging on live theatre till the wee hours at A Midsummer Night’s Fringe.
Yes, after decades of handles pried loose from B-movies, horror and teen flicks, sitcoms, James Bond — and one unspell-able song title (that’s a spot quiz, ladies and gentlemen) — it’s a classical christening. And it was chosen from amongst 800 nicknames, of every shade of kookiness, lyricism, and pun wrangling, submitted by Fringe-goers. Yes, the people love the Fringe!
A Midsummer Night’s Dream has magic potions, mistaken identity, romantic couplings and uncouplings, fairy interventions — all of them within the compass of Edmonton’s glorious summer theatre extravaganza. And here’s the comedy showstopper: a play-within-a-play that remains one of the funniest scenes in English theatre after four centuries.
Pyramus and Thisby is put on by a bunch of stagestruck artisans with stars in their eyes. And they’re led by Bottom the Weaver, the endearing upstager who galvanizes his forces with the immortal exhortation: “the short and the long is, our play is preferred!”
It’s every Fringee’s dream!
This year’s schedule is available Aug. 1. Tickets to the 1,600-plus performances in more than 40 venues go on sale Aug. 9. Further details are at fringetheatre.ca.