Mr and Mrs Alexander: Sideshows and Psychics (You Rung? Productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

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You Rung? Productions present Mr and Mrs Alexander: Sideshows and Psychics for your delectation and amazement. Part of this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, the delightful duo served up a show full of fun, trickery and surprises.

Hailing from New Zealand, David Ladderman and Lizzie Tollemache take us to the 1890’s vaudevillian circuit, and introduce us to the strange story of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander, who dabble in light fingeredness, mesmerism and telepathy.

The story is set against the backdrop of the murder of the Governor General and Mrs. Alexander’s claims that she can use her psychic skills to solve it. With their many skills such as sleight of hand, mind reading and perfect comic timing, the two charm us into believing their every word. Perhaps they really do use their Mesmer wheel to hypnotise us ? Or was it the eerie Theremin music that sent us into a trance?

With hilarious audience participation and a brilliant use of improv, these performers not only wove an intriguing story but performed feats and tricks that left us in awe. They play off each other perfectly and what was really lovely to watch was the way their skills were woven into a story and the transitions were always smooth and slick.

I was very impressed with this homage to the world of the sideshow. The direction was very precise, yet allowed the performers to step out of character from time to time to whisper asides or inform us of facts about the era and the way that the Victorians would have viewed those claiming to have psychic powers.

This show was an absolute joy to watch. Funny and entertaining and as professional as anything you will ever see. The audience loved it and totally took Mr. and Mrs. Alexander to their hearts. There is nothing more astounding than seeing a show that packs so much into 55 minutes and that was a feat in itself.

As Barnum supposedly said, “there’s a sucker born every minute”, so don’t be a sucker. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this show.

It won’t disappoint and will leave your head spinning as the very last trick, pulled off almost casually, is the most mind-blowing of all!

Details

Mr and Mrs Alexander: Sideshows and Psychics plays at the Tarragon Extraspace. (30 Bridgman ave. Near Bathurst and Dupont)

show times
July 04 at 04:45 PM
July 05 at 01:45 PM
July 07 at 02:45 PM
July 08 at 08:45 PM
July 10 at 11:00 PM
July 11 at 04:00 PM
July 12 at 07:00 PM

Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online , by phone (416-966-1062), 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 if you are going to at least five shows; see website for details.

LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.

Photo ofMr and Mrs A Photo creditDavid Ladderman and Lizzie Tollemache provided by Nick White.