Review: Henri Fabergé’s Heligoland Follies (Stages)

With a grin, he brags to Regina of blow-drying a shirt.

The two are on a desert island, the setting of Henri Faberge’s Heligoland Follies, which was performed Thursday, January 12th at the Hart House Arbor Room.

“With your mouth?” asks Regina, referring to the blow-drying.

“Yes,” he says. “How do you do it?”

Making things a bit more ridiculous, there is a glaring physical juxtaposition between these characters.

Regina is a diminutive hermaphrodite. The man – I didn’t catch the character’s name – is burly, with a voice to match his size.

Also, the latter is topless.

This is just sort of the way things roll in Henri Faberge’s Heligoland Follies. A show in which we follow a few characters through a loosely connected series of vignettes, some performed onstage, a few shown onscreen.

A stripped-down punk rock-like score – just a guitar, snare and a bass – was played live, too.

The gritty sound gave the show a rough hewn, spontaneous feel. And added to the humor I think, by making the whole show a bit more surreal.

Also, the second guitarist – the role gets passed on, after a man with, what a Napoleon-like character describes as having a “doughnut of hair” around his mouth, shoots the original guitarist, who appears in a band of pirates – has some cool virtuoso moments.

I just wish I knew the names of the actors and performers!

At the end of the show, there was a credit sequence but, I didn’t have nearly enough time to scribble down the information. And while the names are available on the website, they are not attributed to specific characters. This is particularly unfortunate, because individually and as a team, the cast and crew are noteworthy.

The remaining two instalments of Henri Faberge’s Heligoland Follies, a monthly six-part series officially billed as, “an 1820s community trying to reach a Utopian ideal” are on February 2nd and March 1st.

It’s a free show. The doors open at 9:00 PM and the show begins at 10:00 PM.

I am a very big fan of the work I saw, so I’d very strongly recommend going to the next show.



Henri Faberge’s Heligoland Follies, a monthly six-part series with two instalments remaining, one on February 2nd and March 1st, at the Hart House Arbor Room.
– Doors open at 9:00 PM, and the show begins at 10:00
– This is a free event, tickets are not required
– For more info, please go to