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Unhinged @ Vancouver Fringe Festival

Vancouver Fringe Festival runs every year in September. This year, we sent some of our student contributors out to explore some of the festival’s offerings and review it for us. Productions ranged from dance to improv – many unique to the festival. You can browse their website here.

Sunday Afternoon, Cultch Historic Theatre. A volunteer at the PA notifies a small crowd of festivalgoers that the show is about to begin. Hozier’s Take To Church plays from a single violin, for it’s entirety. Luke Perm, clad in Hawaiian shirt, red suspenders and a neutral mask cries a single bloody tear.

The Jester-like figure pulls out a diary and raves in a stream of conscious monologue that makes the first 25 minute ‘act’. The sordid soliloquy covers his struggle in Vancouver’s affordability to ‘The Evil King of Omelettes and Souffles’. Perm’s rants are a spectacle, watching a man fall apart and pick himself back up – for the show must on.

Unhinged is a wild ride of the Jester proclaiming all the dark anxieties we all have

I was confused as to why this comedy act was being billed as a one man about a jester and a king with smoke, fog, and fierce monochrome orc make up promised in the program. Suddenly, a bell tolls and The Jester shrilly announces “He’s Here! He’s Here!”

Lights fade to black, ending the first 30-minute act.

The second act consists of “The King”, a small naked doll wearing a wig, sat on a tall dining room chair. One comment about orang-utan hair and Russia to say who our hero is jesting – without naming the US President. Realizing now that the manic kabuki with a malfunctioning wardrobe I saw that Sunday afternoon was the half price matinee.

Looking back at it – without my prior expectations – Unhinged is a wild ride of the Jester proclaiming all the dark anxieties we all have about the state of the world but would never say out loud, delivering exactly what the title promises.