5 Can’t-Miss Shows at the 2014 Vancouver Fringe Festival

8799490Vancouver’s weirdest theatre fest of the year is back.

The 2014 Vancouver Fringe Festival brings nearly 100 off-beat and experimental theatre acts to Granville Island, Sept. 4-Sept. 14.  Over the course of 11 days of over-the-top thespian excitement, they’ll stage more than 700 performances in venues ranging from traditional theatres to cafes and even “site-specific” places, which in the past have included fire escapes and bicycles.

First held back in 1985, the Fringe has grown into one of the city’s largest theatre festivals, drawing more than 30,000 attendees every year. Its unique format (many acts are drawn at random, literally from a hat) gives all artists, from novices to veteran actors, a chance to participate, while bringing new, adventurous and often hilarious theatre to audiences. The price is right, too: All regular-priced tickets are $14.

Here are a few shows not to be missed at this year’s Fringe Fest:

14PO5Le Secret du RoiReady for some swashbuckling excitement? Vancouver’s best sword fighters from the city’s own Academie Duello star in this action-filled adventure set in the times of Louis XV.  The French king has sent a spy to infiltrate the English court, setting in motion a saga of betrayal, rivalry and revenge.

15S-F1One Man Star Wars TrilogyThis favourite from festivals past sees one exceptionally versatile actor perform the entire Star Wars trilogy – by himself – in 60 minutes.  Diehard fanboy Charles Ross plays all the characters, sings the music, flies the ships and fights the battles from George Lucas’ epic, singlehandedly.

14PBH2Caws and EffectOld school shadow puppets are the vehicle for this unique story, told from a crow’s-eye view.  Through handmade layered projections, brilliant puppetry, elaborate masks and original music, the production gives us a crow’s take on the future, survival and extinction.

14IMW7The Greatest Monkey Show on EarthA thought-provoking comedy performed by a man in a monkey suit, this production has Fringe classic written all over it.  The star of the show recounts his childhood in Zaire, before going on to integrate bouffon comedy and acrobatics, from Chinese pole to hoop diving, while meditating on the themes of freedom and captivity.

14SPP36 GuitarsOne performer transforms himself into six different guitarists over the course of an evening in this audience favourite from last year’s festival. Watch as blues rocker becomes jazz cat, country legend, folk star, classical maestro and electric guitar god. Virtuoso guitarist Chase Padgett gives each character his own musical style, voice and world view.

Any other can’t-miss shows at the 2014 Fringe Fest? Let us know below. 

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