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Fringe Reviews: A couple of doozies

A remarkable telling of RCAF pilots shot down during WWII--juxtaposed with the silliest of gospel revivals: At fringe, it's one satisfying extreme to the other.

Half the Battle

A story about a pair of Canadian pilots shot down during WWII might be told on a stage busy with actors and sets, but that's not what former Edmontonian Owen Bishop had in mind when he wrote Half the Battle.

On a barren stage and with no other actors, the actor/writer tells the story of a prairie boy and a Newfoundlander, pilots bound together in eternity (in more ways than one) after being shot down in battle and now awaiting what comes next. It's an amazing feat of acting, but also a sharply-written and engaging tale.

Bishop is remarkable in embodying both characters, who are literally seared together in death, each possessing half the body in the aftermath of being shot down. Imagine one hand fighting with the other, a leg tripping another--a flask of whisky sipped and passed between hands and pockets that really feel like it's two separate people.

Different stories, different accents--it's a wonderful performance, both funny and poignant as Bishop tells each pilot's story (their childhoods, what drew them to fly, the loves they've left behind), and that of the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII.

Don't miss Half the Battle--a thought-provoking experience well worth your time at Fringe. Show-goers can also contribute to efforts around the war in Ukraine through owenbishop.ca.

 

Brother Love's Good Time Gospel Hour

If Fringe means total silliness and out-there content, this is the show for you. If, however, you are easily offended and are sensitive around topics of religion--maybe not. But I laughed the entire hour of this show, with Brother Love and his Gospelletes attempting to save souls in earnest in a sweaty church basement. Seems just right to me, as did the fake money and mini tambourines upon each seat in the theatre. Audience participation is appreciated at a revival, after all.

Come hear Brother Love and company sing and preach about God’s love, the glory of lust, the spiritual power of cocaine, the wonder of tax-deductible donations, and the appeal of hippie Jesus and dogs? Blessing and miracles assured! Get saved at this sacrilegious revival.

It's a hoot! Check out Brother Love.