Well, it’s been two days now since the 2012 version of the Winnipeg Fringe Festival ended. My fringing actually ended a couple of days before that, but with a series of other activities to keep occupied and amused, (OK, only occupied), I’m just getting around to offering a few final thoughts.
The one thing that impressed me the most this year was the high quality of shows that I went to see. By that I mean, that in the main, the shows I went to see delivered on what they promised. The silly were silly and the dramatic were dramatic. As well, the acting was almost uniformly well-done, and none of the exceptions were of such a nature that they made an otherwise good play, bad. The acting highlights for me were Derek Leenhouts and Mel Marginet in Lungs. Toby Hughes in The Courier, Melanie Gall in More Power to Your Knitting Nell, Ken Brown in Minding Dad, and Evelyn Wong and Carl Kennedy in She Has a Name.
What made this Fringe odd for me, was that I ended up missing many of the plays that my friends were in. Rest assured, that has nothing to do with how I feel about them, but sometimes there are just too many good choices. Nevertheless, I am happy for all of you and the many good reviews you received for your work. I plan to get around this problem next year, assuming that I’m around. I’m going to try and take the two weeks of Fringe off, get a couple of passes and instead of just seeing 11 shows, go for 20+.
What this also tells me is that theatre is alive and well in Winnipeg from a performers point of view. Now we just need to get more people out watching it all year round. Not just the big shows mind you, but the smaller shows from the smaller companies and those who are studying theatre as well. There is a lot of great talent out there, and you’re doing your self a disservice if you don’t take the time to discover some of it.
Finally, to all those that took the time to read my reviews and also took the time to offer your encouragement, thank you very much. Your comments were very much appreciated.