Princess Confidential: Fortress Falls (Stage 11, Studio Theatre)
by Todd Babiak
The third instalment in the Princess Confidential series, a Fringe favourite, continues the ingenious mash-up of the first two: film noir plus fairy tales.
Princess Abigail (Merran Carr-Wiggin) and Detective Reid (Neil Kuefler) have found stability in their lives, after episodes of amnesia, missing women, and the off-stage havoc of the villainous Fortress Jones. They’re both married — Abigail to the handsome Prince Rupert, played by Evan Hall — and the city is finally calm… or is it?
Fortress Falls begins with the princess discovering her crown is missing. There’s only one person who can help her: Detective Reid. And there’s only one way to discover anything in a Princess Confidential play: re-enact some fairy tales, ideally with the detective playing female characters.
Carr-Wiggin and Kuefler have more fun than any detectives in history. Acting out fairy tales as an investigative tactic is absurd, but playwright and director Ellen Chorley understands that kids like to take their absurdity with absolute commitment and sincerity — not winks.
This is why it is not uncommon for the children of Edmonton to wonder, in the middle of February, whether or not there will be another Princess Confidential at the next Fringe festival.