The weirdest and wildest shows at the 2016 Fringe Festival

The weirdest and wildest shows at the 2016 Fringe Festival

Nicholas Porteous and Brittany Kay (and the chainsaw-wiedling maniac) of Romeo and Juliet Chainsaw Massacre. Photograph courtesy of Bain and Bernard Comedy

This year, the Fringe Festival once again brings more than 1,100 way-off Broadway performances to our fair city. We combed through the program, which runs from June 29 to July 10, to pluck out most peculiar and gimmicky of the bunch. Here, the oddest of the oddballs.

Jon Paterson and Kurt Fitzpatrick of Best Picture. Photograph by Richard Gilmore
Best Picture

Kurt Fitzpatrick (the funnyman on the right above) wrote this show for the short-attention-span generation: three actors (each with a Robin Williams–calibre aptitude for switching focus) play thousands of characters in a 60-minute spoof of every movie that’s won the Best Picture Oscar. Perfect for film nerds with a sense of humour. July 1 to 9, Theatre Passe Muraille.


The cast of Crux. Photograph by Brayden Swire

When director Greg Borris decided to stage a play at a Boulderz climbing gym, he had to find actors who were also proficient rock climbers. He ended up casting a crew of circus-trained actors. It’s a workout for the audience, too: they’re invited to harness up and climb alongside the characters. June 29 to July 10, Boulderz Climbing Gym.


Carina Gaspar of Denmarked. Photograph by Humberto da Rosa

Carina Gaspar’s Theatre Stoogette is dedicated to debunking clown stereotypes. In this show, she reimagines all the fun and tragedy of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet from the perspective of a clown named Tweed. Expect skulls, sonnets and big red noses. July 1 to 9, Randolph Theatre.


Micah Champagne and Megan Gordge of Waiting for Waiting for Godot. Photograph courtesy of Huh What's That theatre collective
Waiting for Waiting for Godot

It’s a play about a pair of bored best friends in line to attend Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. We look forward to the inevitable sequel, about two more friends waiting to see their show: Waiting for Waiting for Waiting for Godot. June 29 to July 10, Al Green Theatre.


Alyssa Minichillo of #MannequinGirl: The Musical. Photograph by Sage Whitworth
#MannequinGirl: The Musical

In this commentary on our Instafame era, a mannequin falls from the sky and smashes a young woman, who immediately turns into an Internet sensation. The fun twist: the girl and the life-sized doll strike up a serious friendship. July 1 to 9, Annex Theatre.


Scott Garland of Romeo and Juliet Chainsaw Massacre. Photograph courtesy of Bain and Bernard Comedy
Romeo and Juliet Chainsaw Massacre

Matt Bernard and the Bard team up for this twisted take on the classic romantic tale. Think feuding families are an obstacle to true love? Try throwing a chainsaw-wielding psycho into the mix. July 1 to 10, Randolph Theatre.


Neil McArthur of Let Me Freeze Your Head. Photograph by Leif Norman
Let Me Freeze Your Head

Neil McArthur’s one-person play is a brief sales presentation, in which he tries to convince his crowd that they should learn how to cryogenically preserve their brains in order to live again. (Think: Futurama’s Head Museum.) June 29 to July 9, Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse.


The cast of The Unending. Photography courtesy of Convergence Theatre
The Unending

Three actors perform three tense dramas about infidelity. Audiences meet at the Little Italy brunch nook Aunties and Uncles for the first play, a mod take on Strindberg’s The Stronger, then slink off to two secret locations for Beckett’s Play and a new work by Toronto artist Julie Tepperman, What Doesn’t Kill You. June 29 to July 10, Aunties and Uncles.

Monologues for Nobody

Audience members double as stars and spectators in this feel-good gimmick by Jordan Mechano. Walk into a room by yourself, choose one of the provided monologues created by veteran Fringe playwrights, then perform like no one’s watching—because no one is. It’s the perfect show for introverts, though the cast after-party might get a little lonely. July 1 to 10, Fringe Club (Honest Ed’s parking lot).