Gravestone Posse (The Canadian Space Opera Company) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

The truth of the matter is I had a hard time focusing during Gravestone Posse. My mind went on a walk-about, straying to supper decisions and weekend diversions.

Perhaps this has more to do with the format of the work than the substance. This is not a play, but rather a radio faux-drama that was recorded live for future broadcast. The performers wore costumes appropriate to their caricaturized roles but the script was read into microphones.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone involved was a talented voice and character actor. Somehow the story just didn’t reel me in. It is set in wild western Canada where a small town is set upon by evil undead.

The most interesting aspect of the show was the use of live sound effects. A talented sound effects artist brought the tale of murder and mayhem to life with crumpled up cups, sheets of cardboard and vocal effects.

In keeping with the 1940s, radio-soap opera concept, there was also live music. The dramatic reading was accompanied by keyboard and used both piano and an organ sounds; capitalizing upon the distinctly different moods established by each instrument.

The yarn was broken up with faux radio commercials advertising bizarre and inappropriate products.

Gravestone Posse plays at venue 22 CIUT Radio Station, Hart House Map Room (Site Specific at 7 Hart House Circle, U of T)

– Performances:

Sat, July 16 1:00PM
Sun, July 17 8:00PM

– 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