Dispatches from the Victoria Fringe 2017 Day Six

Dispatches from the Victoria Fringe 2017 Day Six

Day Six was spent in one of my favourite haunts, the Victoria Event Centre, Venue 1, 1415 Broad Street, for Jon Bennett: My Dad’s Deaths (A Comedy) and Tragedy + Time Served=Comedy by Mark Hughes

Find all my Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 coverage HERE.

As the Fringe enters its second week, it becomes more important to buy tickets in advance, or be prepared to come at least an hour early for the more popular shows.  If a show you really want to see is sold-out, please consider taking a chance on another in the same time slot–that’s truly the spirit of Fringe. Many times I’ve been surprised by a show or artist who were not even on my radar.

Jon Bennett: My Dad’s Deaths (A Comedy)

Jon Bennett has been a Victoria Fringe Festival favourite since arriving here with Pretending Things Are a Cock in 2015.  Gonzo humour and high octane delivery coupled with frenetic nervous energy and storytelling filled with heart have endeared him to audiences world-wide. His zest for life and mischievous spirit are infectious, coupled with the fact he constantly keeps audiences on their toes as he races from one outrageous tale to another.

His transitions are a thing of beauty—story follows story follows story in a seemingly random fashion that is anything but, to culminate in a nugget of truth so genuine it actually makes people gasp.  Then comes the “gotcha” as he turns the tables on audience expectations! Well played sir, well played.

My Dad’s Deaths takes episodes from life growing up on a pig farm in the Australian outback, the youngest of a family of five boys, with a dad who was his teacher, minister and coach—there was no escaping the influence of a stern, accident-prone man who, nights before Bennett’s birth, managed to knock himself out cold falling from a ladder.

Besides chronicling the many ways his dad nearly died, Bennett unleashes a litany of the times he disappointed his father—from the Bunny Dance at an elementary school talent show, to his decision to be a comedian.

In a brilliant send-up of his father’s beloved bush poets, he interjects scenes of incredibly bad poetry.

Come dance on the knife edge, feel all the emotions, as Bennett teases and tantalizes before circling round. My Dad’s Deaths is a wonderful, if unusual, tribute, filled with a deep abiding sense of love for and connection to his father.

Jon Bennett: My Dad’s Deaths (A Comedy)
Venue 1, Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street
Duration: 60minutes. Adults only: extremely coarse language, adult themes, violence. Storytelling, comedy
Tickets $11

Remaining shows

Thursday August 31 11:15pm
Friday September 1 5pm
Saturday September 2 6pm
Sunday September 3 3:15pm

Tragedy + Time Served= Comedy by Mark Hughes

Stand-up comedian and Vancouver native Mark Hughes has made a name for himself with his offensive material—he’s seen the world in an offbeat way for a long time, getting into trouble at a young age for blurting out inappropriate comments.

Always on the outside looking in, longing for connection and  held at a distance by his parents, his first flagrant attention-seeking attempts involved matches and a school, and only accelerated from there.

Traged + Time Served =Comedy takes the audience deep into the life of a drug addict, small time crook and bank robber who ultimately finds the family he’s looking for in prison, before breaking free and ultimately, finding an outlet in comedy.

His struggles with addiction, sexual abuse and the penal system are carefully laid out—this is painful unvarnished truth, delivered clinically, almost as if dissecting the life of a stranger.

Slim, trim, dressed in a sharp suit, he’s every inch the motivational speaker, without the razz-ma-tazz people have come to expect from the genre, welcoming each audience member with a handshake at the door.

Nothing is off-limits—including an honest discussion of male sexual abuse. However, all is not dark and filled with despair—Hughes is an adept performer who knows exactly when to inject levity.  Clean for over a decade, he wants to use this show to not only raise awareness, but also as a beacon of hope for others, inviting the audience to spread the word to people in fields of social work, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and to recovering addicts.

Despite the darkness of his life’s events, Hughes creates a safe space to learn more about issues that are ravaging today’s society—from an insider’s perspective. Tragedy+Time Served=Comedy is gripping, personal narrative and a memorable glimpse into a live most people cannot begin to fathom. Theatre-goers who appreciate truthful material will be richly rewarded.

Tragedy+Time Served=Comedy by Mark Hughes
Venue 1 Victoria Event Centre 1415 Broad Street
Duration 75 minutes. Adult only, extremely coarse language, adult themes. Dramatic monologue, comedy
All seats $11

Remaining show:
Sunday September 3 1:15pm

About @lacouvee

Community Builder. Catalyst. Speaker. Writer. Arts Advocate.

Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

I truly believe that one person can make a difference and that we all have our own lives to live, creatively, while respecting the unique nature of others.

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