Dispatches from the Victoria Fringe 2018. Day Five.

Reviews of Death, a Romantic Comedy by Rob Gee and Confessions of an Operatic Mute by Briane Nasimok.

Don’t forget to check out reviews from Day One (The Session, Reminiscences of Reconciliation, Fool’s Paradise), Day Two (Water People, Fado, Carey, OK!)  Day Three (Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of Moriarty!, The Measure of Love, The Boy in the Chrysalis, Para Dos), and Day Four (The Birdmann and Egg FINALE, Cornelius and Titania BLOOD RELATIVE)

Shows coming from the Edmonton Fringe start Monday night. If there are any you are determined to see, I always advise getting advance tickets to avoid disappointment—by the concluding weekend many are sold-out of pre-sales and line-ups begin well before an hour in advance of door sales.

Happy Fringing.

Death, a Romantic Comedy

Rob Gee has been a Victoria Fringe Festival fan favourite since first arriving on the local scene in 2006—on Monday’s opening night advance tickets were sold out and people arriving more than an hour early were disappointed to be turned away.

A trained psychiatric nurse, his tales often contain episodes and characters loosely based on his experiences. Gee is an award-winning slam poet, combining rhyme and rhythm with enthusiastic storytelling to create fantastical capers.  Beaming with irrepressible goodwill and cheer he bounds across the stage, arms akimbo, lanky frame gesticulating wildly.

Escapade follows escapade in an episodic manner that at first appears nonsensical. His brilliance lies in his descriptive abilities—drawing ne’er do wells and crusty seniors, lovelorn hospital staff and family relatives out of thin air and making them magically appear in the mind’s eye.  He holds the audience’s attention as he darts and bobs from one character to the other, carefully structuring the story to achieve a resoundingly satisfying conclusion.

Follow Dave, a pathologist’s assistant, his drinking buddy, an old man named Archibald, and the pacemaker that unites them, on one of the wildest rides of this year’s Victoria Fringe.

Death, a Romantic Comedy by Rob Gee (Leicester UK)
Venue 4, the VCM Wood Hall (907 Pandora Avenue)
Tickets $11 regular and $9 seniors and students
Duration: 60 minutes
Rating: Adults only: Coarse language, adult themes.
Genre: Comedy/Spoken Word

Remaining shows:

Thurs August 30-8pm
Fri August 31-7:30pm
Sat Sept 1-10:45pm
Sun Sept 2-8:15pm

Confessions of an Operatic Mute

Briane Nasimok comes across as a loveable and relatable nebbish, his comedy the classic shtick familiar to fans of his comedy crush Jerry Lewis, his set-ups—textbook. Gentle chuckles echo around the theatre in recognition of some ill-considered adventure or romantic disappointment.

Well-known in Toronto for producing the Canadian Comedy Awards and the Siminovitch Prize gala, he has made a career as a writer and general go-to guy in the local comedy, theatre and television communities.

Confessions of An Operatic Mute is the story of how it all started—performing as an extra (also called a supernumerary or “mute”) for the Canadian Opera Company—in 287 performances on stages across Canada and the US.

Falling in love with theatre at the age of ten, Nasimok vowed to one day perform on the O’Keefe Centre stage.  The only problem—he lacked talent (a fact that is highly disputable given the crowd-pleaser he now helms).

Combining personal stories of growing up Jewish in 1960s Toronto, mixed with back stage gossip and insight into the production of opera, it’s an amusing glimpse into a world behind the footlights.

Nasimok’s comedic timing and energetic delivery make Confessions of An Operatic Mute a highly entertaining show with flair and confident zing.

Confessions of an Operatic Mute by Briane Nasimok
Venue 4, VCM Wood Hall, 907 Pandora Avenue
Tickets: $11 regular, $9 seniors and students
Duration: 50 minutes
Rating: PG 14+
Genre: Comedy story
Remaining shows:

Sat Sept 1-9pm
Sun Sept 2-8:15pm

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.


  1. […] Chrysalis, Para Dos), Day Four (The Birdmann and Egg FINALE, Cornelius and Titania BLOOD RELATIVE), Day Five (Death a Romantic Comedy and Confessions of an Operatic […]

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