Toronto Fringe Preview: PUBLIC SPEAKING

Last year I only managed to catch a handful of Fringe plays, none of which I reviewed here, but I was lucky enough to catch a fantastic little one-man show called Moving Along that I really enjoyed. The one man in it was Chris Craddock, a wonderful actor based in Edmonton, and featured a chair with several lights strapped to it that he’d switch on and off as he ricocheted through the performance. Moving Along was an older show he’d dusted off to tour Fringes last summer, and I hope a lot of people saw it because it was excellent.

The picture above is a promo shot for Moving Along because I couldn’t find one of suitable size/quality for Craddock’s new one-man gig that’s going to run at this year’s Fringe, which is called PUBLIC SPEAKING. This show is so new that it’s Toronto showing is apparently a “fully realized workshop presentation,” and won’t actually have an official premiere until next season at Theatre Network in Edmonton. Just to take a potshot at the city I used to live in, this means that there is something to look forward to this upcoming winter in Edmonton, which is a refreshing change from the norm.

From the show’s press release: “Celebrated playwright and performer Chris Craddock returns as a one-man tour-de-force. Characters from opposing sides of the tracks collide when Johnny Three Fingers and his assistant, Brian, kidnap the rich and famous Diana. But when Brian, a homeless man with gigantism, is put in charge of guarding the girl, a closet sex-addict and daughter of Canada’s “King of Self-Help,” he has to fight not to fall in love with her. Meanwhile, Diana’s father tries not to betray his principles now that they’ve been put to the ultimate test. As Craddock weaves this intricate multi-character tale, he manipulates sound to awesome effect—much as he had manipulated lighting in his hit play, Moving Along.”

You might remember Craddock as the writer of previous hit shows Boy Groove and BASH’d, which was actually performed off Broadway in 2008. I remember him from a handful of shows around Edmonton when I was around that theatre scene a lot, but mostly I remember him as the writer of Summer of My Amazing Luck, a stage adaptation of the Miriam Toews novel, which was stupendous and made both my mother and my sister cry when I took them to see it.

So basically if you want to see a playwright and actor who’s been at the top of his game for years now without any sign of slowing down perform his new work, and you probably should want to do that, see PUBLIC SPEAKING.

PUBLIC SPEAKING runs at venue 9 in your Fringe program, the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, which is north of College on St. George Street. As usual, a ticket will cost you $10 at the door, $11 in advance, and you can get all info on passes and advance tix at the Fringe website. The schedule for the show looks like this:

Friday July 2, 10:30 pm

Sunday July 4, 7:15 pm

Tuesday July 6, 6:30 pm

Wednesday July 7, 4:00 pm

Thursday July 8, 11:15 pm

Friday July, 9, Noon

Sunday July 11, 5:45 pm

Posted on by Brian in Fringe, Reviews, Theatre

3 Responses to Toronto Fringe Preview: PUBLIC SPEAKING

  1. crad

    Hey dude! Thanks for your kind words. I wanted to drop by and update your readers on the status of our tech for this show. We’ve been experimenting with some remote sound options, mostly based on linking a wii-mote to a laptop running sound software with a series of cues, from vocal distortion to music and so forth. Our experiments are being done by our sound genius Dave Clarke, based on work at the U of A Drama Department by fellow-genius Matt Skopik. The tech works, but takes more time than the fringe process allows to work reliably. The show is intact as a story and performance, but the sound will be run as normal, from the booth.

  2. Brian

    Thanks for the info, Chris.

  3. Pingback: TO Fringe Review: PUBLIC SPEAKING | The Panic Manual

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