A Taste of Fringe

Performers scramble to impress at the Out-of-Towner Fringe-for-all

Eidolon at Venue 10 - La Chapelle

It was a festival in fast-forward. The 22nd annual Montreal FRINGE Festival’s Out-of-Towner Fringe-for-All event hosted artists from outside Montreal showcasing their work.

Performers had the chance to catch people’s attention in 60 seconds or less. The approach was anything but formulaic. Some artists did excerpts or stunts, others tried explanations or even unabashed bribery.

Cameron Moore, who performed Thursday to promote her show Power Play, described the Fringe-for-All as, “our chance to persuade audiences with the briefest possible amount of time on stage to come to our show.”

The Last man on Earth showcased a heart-warming play in the style of silent film, while God is a Scottish Drag Queen had the audience laughing aloud to a brogue deity.

Not all Fringe events were light, however. The powerful She has a Name focused on the sobering theme of human trafficking. Another promising non-comedy was Gadfly: Sam Steiner Dodges the Draft, a drama based on an American draft-dodger.

Despite the event’s breakneck pace, continuity was provided by the three talented 13th Hour co-hosts, whose comic banter kept the crowd informed, entertained and every so often on their feet for an 11-second dance party.

Over 25 companies from across Canada and around the world will be performing this year at the Montreal FRINGE Festival, as well as more than 90 local companies.

The 2012 Montreal Fringe Festival runs from June 4 to 24 at venues across the city. Reviews to follow.