In 2005, I took in my first Fringe Festival.  It was the world famous Edinburgh Festival.  What the hell had I been missing all those years since 1991, when the Atlantic Fringe debuted in Halifax.  I had some lost time to make up for!!

Fast forward 12 years, and I’ve enjoyed many and VARIED a show.  And this year am enjoying the first ever “Halifax Fringe”, as the festival has chosen a narrower geographic focus.  Primarily because there are now so many regional Fringe Fests throughout Atlantic Canada.

The great thing about a Fringe is the absolute artistic freedom afforded the participants.  Plays are selected first-come, first served rather than by jury, so really – it’s “anything goes” at Halifax Fringe.  And we’ve seen ‘em all over the years … great, horrendous, brave, experimental, edgy, misguided … but it’s beautiful to have so many artists in one small area telling their stories, speaking their minds. 

The Festival began Thursday and runs through September 10th.  Almost 60 productions this year at 10 venues, mostly scattered through North End Halifax.  Over 350 performances in just 11 days. 

Have a peek at the shows here and see what suits your tastes!  http://atlanticfringe.tickethalifax.com/upcoming

Beyond the theatrical performances, I’m looking forward to a few workshops and other unorthodox events sprinkled amongst the plays, such as:

Fringe Talk Show Live at The Bus Stop on Gottingen St.  Two years ago, longtime Fringe Chair, Kevin Kindred, decided to experience the performance side of theatre for the first time as an adult, and I found myself sharing the stage with him in Dartmouth Players’ production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.  Now, Kevin will be hosting the Fringe Talk Show this Monday and Friday evening, done Q&A style, specifically for Fringe Artists as a direct method of communication with Fringe organizers and to find out more about the festival and this year’s shows.

Sing Along Show Tunes at The Bus Stop Theatre, with the mega-talented Garry Williams running the show, late this Friday night, at 11:45.  I absolutely loved warbling show tunes with Garry as the Musical Director who saved our sorry asses time and again during Dartmouth Players’ Mid-Life Crisis: The Musical in 2014.  This guy KNOWS his show tunes.

Strip Spelling Bee! At The Seahorse Tavern.  Exactly what it says, I’m guessing.  This Thursday night at 9.  You’re invited to participate if you think your spelling skills are up to it and your embarrassment threshold is low.  Email filthyemails@gmail.com to sign up.  And if you’re only there to ogle, there’s a $6 cover charge.