Reviews - Fringe 2018

Weird

By Mackenzie Kristjon Jenkyns
Published July 21, 2018

Weird
Weird

Weird is an award-winning production from Theatre Arctarus that combines aerial work with a new spin on an old classic, the Bard's Macbeth. This show has previously been at various Fringes in the past, including Toronto where it won the Cutting-Edge Award and Ottawa where it won Best of Fest.

In this re-imagining of the Scottish play, the audience watches the three Weird sisters plot, fight, summon forces of nature, and so on, both on the ground where they speak and then in the air where they twist and turn - at times gracefully and death-defyingly to dramatic effect.

Their make-up and costumes were a great combination of beautiful and sinister, and the lighting and sounds were used to great dramatic effect, particularly when the thunder and lightning rolled in.

I found myself wondering if it made any difference that I already knew the Scottish play (as many do from high school) and I ultimately came to the conclusion that it really did not matter. So much of the entertainment value comes from the lighting, sound, costumes, and aerial work that it is entertaining just with that.

Actually, in the preview I saw at the Lincoln Alexander Theatre for the Fringe kickoff, the director indicated that there were something like a hundred or more lighting and sound cues that time with the production. No mean feat and I believe it after seeing it.

On the other hand, if you were intimately familiar with the Bard's Play, then your experience will be that much deeper as you will recognize a lot of the text. "Double double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble..." when accompanied by their shrieking and the lights - absolutely frightening! These women can put a spell on me any day!

For Hamilton viewers familiar with the HAG (Hamilton Aerialists Group), I would liken this to a much less abstract version of the shows they put on. Hamilton is actually kind of spoiled with all of our circus-related stuff and of course, we welcome these Weird sisters any day of the week.

Mackenzie Kristjon is an Icelandic-Canadian singer-songwriter and all around creative force. He has published numerous books including the award-winning Culinary Saga of New Iceland. He also has roots in community radio at CFRU 93.3 FM in Guelph. To hear/see/download his music, you can visit thismaddesire.bandcamp.com.

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