A new company, a new play: A Town Called Umbra, a guest 12thnight Fringe review by Todd Babiak

A Town Called Umbra

A Town Called Umbra (Stage 11, Studio Theatre)

In most cities, a new theatre company launches with an ambitious version of an existing play, something classic and accessible.

Most cities are not Edmonton, where a new theatre company nearly always begins with its own work — written, directed, produced, and performed by three or four friends at the Fringe.

A Town Called Umbra is the first work by Alberta Gothic, written and performed by Levi Borejko and Ari Evans, joined on stage by Philip Hackborn. It’s the story of a western town where a mystery woman, Nik, played by Borejko, has bought up all the shadows.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, Nik had paid for the shadows with a magic potion. By the time Orpheus (Evans) shows up, the town preacher (Hackborn) and everyone else in Umbra suffers from buyers’ remorse.

Orpheus descends to the underworld, to find Nik and rustle up them shadows.

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A Town Called Umbra is imaginative, fast-moving, and gentle enough to be family friendly. This version feels not quite finished, as both the script and the performances lack confidence, but there is a wonderful idea here and plenty of energy. This is a good part of what the Fringe is about — a springboard to whatever comes next.

Todd Babiak











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