Kuwaiti Moonshine (Better to Burn Out Productions) 2013 Toronto Fringe Review



If you’ve ever seen the movie Midnight Express and thought to yourself “what if the lead character were Canadian, instead of American?” then Kuwaiti Moonshine is the Fringe play for you.

The movie almost literally destroyed Turkish tourism. Kuwaiti Moonshine, on the other hand,  might encourage a few brave, rich Canadians to visit Kuwait. Both involve stories of North Americans partaking of banned substances in very foreign countries. Both men serve time in prison.

The one-man play is the brainwork of Tim Murphy. Tim strikes me as a great cat. He does charity work and has built a few schools in Africa.  He’s a typical naïve but admirable Cannuck. He’s also a high school teacher, but hey, nobody is perfect.

The play is, from what I gather, a true story. A spoiled, white Canadian, with a taste for booze, he’s a complete failure on the fiscal side of things. And the girlfriend side of things. On the other hand, he’s a huge success on the “professional student” side of things. He goes to Kuwait to teach English or how to bounce pass a basketball or something. It’s a dry country, so he’s basically checking himself into rehab.

The story is very interesting, but very collegiate. Love triangles abound. Webs of male relationships weave their way across a veiled country. It’s all quite riveting, and an exceptional story.

It’s extra interesting because Murphy peppers the play with bits of education. We learn a bit about Kuwait, geography and religion. Kuwaiti Moonshine is a class that The Bush Administration should have taken in college!

Kuwaiti Moonshine is a really interesting play that I recommend. It’s a trip to a far-away place that most of us will never see with our own eyes. Hopefully none of us have to experience prison in Canada, let alone The Middle East. That alone is worth checking out, and Murphy’s riveting story makes this Fringe play a must-see destination.


July 04 06:30 PM
July 06 02:15 PM
July 07 07:30 PM
July 08 01:15 PM
July 10 11:15 PM
July 11 12:00 PM
July 13 07:00 PM


  • Tickets for all Mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only.
  • Advance tickets are $11, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062 ext. 1), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West)
  • Money-saving value packs are also available; see website for details.
  • LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.

photo of Tim Murphy by Heather Marie Annis