Fringe season is the best season. The sun is out. Parc d’Amerique is bumping. There are actors and comedians and musicians and artists all running along St. Laurent from midnight to midnight.
At a press conference launching the 28th Montreal St. Ambroise Fringe Festival on Tuesday, the audience met hard-working spokeswoman Véronick Raymond as well as heard about some of this year’s highlights from festival general and artistic director Amy Blackmore. Blackmore is, as always, generous in recognizing the many people who support the Fringe, from donors to volunteers to the city itself. She spoke of the Fringe Festival’s history — how the first “fringe” took place on the edges of an international festival intended to restore Edinburgh’s cultural scene following WWII. Apparently, the posh festival didn’t make space for the locals, and they responded by holding an impromptu alternative festival, at the fringes.
The Montreal St. Ambroise Fringe Festival starts with the the Fringe for All, a marathon of short segments from every performer who is currently in town on Monday, May 28th, at Club Soda. There is one held for international performers about a week and a half later. After that, you can check out storytelling events, comedy events, the QDF Summer Calendar launch, and special events like a drunk live reading of Bridesmaids, or Spicy Bingo featuring clowns. Don’t ask. Another thing to expect this year is the return of a fringe menu provided by local businesses like Patati Patata. Of course, there is still the Fringe After Dark programming and the 13th Hour.
The theatre productions are the heart and soul of the Fringe. Plenty of familiar names are back. Sex-T-Rex brings Crime After Crime. Gillian English is around with Giant and Angry. Death is the only excuse for missing the dudely duo of Jon Bennett and Al Lafrance. Glam Gam Productions is sure to get naked in Greasy: A Lesbian Love Story. Monologueologist extrodinaire Jem Rolls is performing I, Idiot. And beloved clowns, Boka and Mazy, are back as well. The Fringe returns all proceeds from tickets back to the artists, so by attending a show, you are supporting the performers themselves.
Alongside the theatre productions are events at Fringe Parc, Parc des Amériques. The park is usually covered with posters and slips of paper with feedback for the different shows. Each day and night are events. Musical acts performing include the Speakeasy Electro Swing and Li’l Andy.
All shows are on sale now. Check out the website HERE. If you’re new to the Fringe, hang out at the park, buy the 3-ticket package for the bargain price of $33. If you’re very keen, the carte blanche for all shows is on sale now until May 29 for just $275! There are single tickets and different ticket packages available.