Flamingo Bandit: “Right in the Beak” (DASF Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

Derek Forgie has been on my radar for a number of years, as I used to enjoy his former comedy duo Press, Release, Repeat. His partner in that became busy with his acting career and Derek formed Flamingo Bandit with his new partner, Tessie Burton, who is also his wife.

That sort of thing can make me wary. A relationship is already work, if you further complicate that by working together, can you really be critical enough to hone your act? But there is precedent for this being successful – think of George and Gracie – and Forgie and Burton seem to have both the comedy chops and the rapport to make it work. 

Some of the sketches are better than others, which is to be expected from any such show. Flamingo Bandit really shines in scenes that are sweet and charming. There are a couple of attempts at more cynical humour, and these fall flat, but most sketches are funny in a very endearing way. Even a sketch about sex which features semi-nudity has a high “aaaaw” factor.

They also excel at extracting humour from very simple situations. One of my favourite sketches involved mostly watching Burton’s face move. She is very expressive and the situation of the sketch is one with which we can all identify.

Both this scene and the final one -another favourite of mine – involved no pre-scripted dialogue. They are physical pieces done to recognizable pop music. The final one involves props that are cleverly conceptualized, but I can’t say anymore or I’ll ruin it for you.

Given that I tend to like dark, sarcastic humour, the fact that I appreciated Flamingo Bandit  is a testament either to the power of the almost palpable love between the funny couple up on stage, or proof that I am softening in my old age. Let’s call it some from column A and some from column B.

– Flamingo Bandit plays at Venue 7 St. Vladimir’s Theatre

– Playing at

Thu, July 7 6:30 PM
Fri, July 8 11:00 PM
Tue, July 12 2:45 PM
Wed, July 13 7:45 PM
Thu, July 14 1:45 PM
Fri, July 15 12:30 PM
Sat, July 16 7:00 PM

– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $10+$1 convenience fee)

– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows