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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Great Battles in History

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The defeated producer of a failed musical titled Battle Hymn tells his audience that cleaning up a mess is worse when people watch. It is also way funnier.

Mark Shyzer, from Toronto, plays Jeff, a man who is a little stunned about the epic failure of his production, but still feels compelled to recap the show as he tries to figure out where it all went wrong. With a bag of colourful plastic soldiers, he talks the audience through the task of producing a musical which, it turns out, has a lot in common with some of the great battles in history. Mostly, they share pain.

It’s the seemingly trivial details that give history its colour, and Shyzer mines that minutiae for its comedic gems. This one-man comedy fills the hour with clever writing riddled with great lines and brutal puns. And while his disastrous story is as funny as war is hell, deep down he knows it’s not all fun and games.

— Wendy King

 

From the Fringe program:

An ambitious plan to bring the greatest moments in military history to the stage falls apart, leaving one man to do the work of an entire army.

Infighting, failure, toy soldiers and a complex Napoleon all come into play in this solo musical comedy from the creator of past Fringe hit Fishbowl.

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Updated on Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 1:37 PM CDT:
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