Valkyrie (Rarely Pure Theatre) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” is the underlying base line for Rarely Pure Theatre‘s Valkyrie debuting at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. This is a powerhouse of a story that speaks to any woman, or anyone really, who has ever been cheated on by a lover, undermined by a member of the opposite (or same) sex, or has ever received one of these texts.

Erin (Tara Koehler) and Bradley (Monique Renaud) are two girlfriends on a mission — exacting bloody revenge on cheating men, particularly those with a knack for treating women like property.


Right off the bat, I knew this was a show I was going to love. The dialogue is punchy, raunchy and believable and so are the characters. The story is definitely extreme, but that’s the great thing about theatre: it can go there, to that dark place where society and your conscience says you shouldn’t go.

The story spoke to me because I could relate, let’s just say I’ve dated my fair share of jackasses in my past.

With a small cast of only three characters, there’s not one character I love more than the other — they each did a fine job. Even Spencer Robson who plays Jarred, the current target of the ladies’ wrath, is believable and real. His chauvinistic ‘white privileged male’ personality and his attitude towards women made you want to cheer the gals on as they torment him (or run across the stage and finish the job).

The direction by Bruce Gooch, the sound design by Eric Bleyendaal and Justin Bath (aka “The Doctors”) were both exception as well – great use of a minimal set.

I did enjoy the fight choreography (the girls practice Krav Maga on each other) but the execution could’ve been more fluid and less stiff.

My other little quibble is as the performance reached the climax and with two guns being waved around, it’s safe to assume that at least one of them is going off. When it does, it doesn’t have enough impact as I would’ve liked.

There’s a lot of guttural depth to Valkyrie and it’s definitely worth the watch. A fine addition to this year’s Fringe.


Valkyrie plays at the Tarragon Extraspace. (30 Bridgman Ave, near Bathurst and Dupont)

Show times

July 05 at 08:45 PM
July 08 at 07:00 PM
July 09 at 05:15 PM
July 10 at 12:00 PM
July 12 at 03:30 PM
July 13 at 12:00 PM

Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online, 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.

 To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.
Photo of Katie Ribout (replaced by Tara Koehler in the production) and Monique Renaud by Joshua-MacDonald