The Fence (Edge of the Sky Theatre) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Cast of The Fence - Toronto Fringe

Before you finish reading this, stop. Go online and buy tickets to see The Fence playing at Randolph Theatre as part of this year’s Fringe Festival . It’s fabulous and it’s going to sell out. It’s from the same people who wrote last year’s sold out Fringe hit, Summerland; Anika Johnson, Barbara Johnston and Suzy Wilde.

The Fringe Program bills it as an autobiographical song cycle and the paper program calls it a live concept album. It’s a series of songs in a wide variety of styles from rap to blues to Brel and beyond. And it’s absolutely wonderful.

There are 34 people in the company and most of them are young. High school young. Wexford Collegiate students, I recognize some of them from last year. They are so talented, it takes my breath away. They can sing and they can dance!

Kudos to Ann Meriam, the director. It can’t be easy directing that many people who are pretty much on the move the whole time. She’s made it look easy.

I loved the choreography by Danielle Devereaux, Honey Frid, and Valerie Stanois. I don’t expect dancing to make me laugh but it did, a couple of times. That only works if the dancers are talented and really well rehearsed otherwise it just looks like a mistake.

I loved the songs, the singing, the dancing, the music, and I loved that the people on stage looked like the city, all colours, all races, all sizes. All talented. Maybe a lesson here for some mainstream theatres.

I also love that this is a show written, directed, and choreographed by women, definitely a #FringeFemme show.

All in all, it was terrific. I had a big smile on my face for most of the show. There were a couple of songs that moved me to tears, but that’s a good thing too.

See it, you’ll enjoy it.

Details

  • The Fence plays at the Randolph Theatre. (736 Bathurst St)
  • Tickets are $12 at the door and in advance, and can be bought online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
  • Content Warning: Mature Language.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a ramp at the building’s northwest corner. Please arrive early and ask to speak with the House Manager.

Performances

  • Friday July 1st, 09:15 pm
  • Saturday July 2nd, 06:15 pm
  • Monday July 4th, 06:00 pm
  • Wednesday July 6th, 12:00 pm
  • Friday July 8th, 04:00 pm
  • Saturday July 9th, 09:45 pm

Photo of the cast of The Fence by Merik
Williams

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