Radio :30 (the night kitchen) 2013 Toronto Fringe Review

Radio :30 Toronto Fringe

Radio :30 opened tonight to a full house so if you want to see it make sure that you arrive early to get tickets.

I’m not sure that there is a ‘typical’ Fringe show but if there is Radio :30 isn’t it. It’s a fine example of what a Fringe show can be when it grows up. Chris Earle wrote Radio :30 and performed it at Fringe in 1999. Since then it’s won both a Dora and a Chalmers award.

Earle gives an absolutely perfect  performance. He knows the play intimately and it shows. It really feels as if we’re watching him in a studio recording a 30 second commercial. It’s a joy to watch such a talented performer who is so comfortable with his material.

Shari Hollett’s direction is terrific. They are a great team.

The show starts with Ron (Earle) in the studio getting ready to record the ad. He just seems like a typical voice-over guy, selling whatever it is the client wants today. He talks with Mike – unseen though the show – the director who is with the clients – unseen and unheard through the show). While he waits he talks to the audience telling us about his voice-over career and sharing some tricks of the trade.

It’s all quite funny but then you notice an undercurrent of regret and sadness. It’s a very touching play.  I can understand why it was a sold-out performance.  It was a wonderful first show to see at Fringe this year. It felt like a gift.


  • Radio :30 is playing at Tarragon Theatre Mainspace (30 Bridgman Ave)
  • Showtimes are:
  • July 05 01:15 PM
  • July 07 04:45 PM
  • July 09 05:15 PM
  • July 11 09:45 PM
  • July 12 07:00 PM
  • July 13 02:15 PM
  • All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only) and go on sale one hour before showtime. 50% of tickets are available in advance and are $11 ($9 + $2 service charge), these can be purchased online at, by phone at 416-966-1062 ext. 1, or in person during the festival at the Festival Box Office in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St W).
  • Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows

Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating during the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Photo of Chris Earle