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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Molotov Circus

Squeezebox Mama / Winnipeg, MB

Posted: 07/18/2009 3:20 PM | Comments: 0

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This is not the first fringe play in which the cast consists of a family. In fact, Winnipeg playwright Debbie Patterson previously cast herself, her two children and her partner Arne MacPherson in the 2007 fringe comedy Candy From a Baby.

But while it is decidedly a family affair, Patterson’s Molotov Circus is not exactly family fare, with its bittersweet, stylized depiction of an itinerant gypsy circus family headed by the benign, long-legged giant Maxim (MacPherson, literally stilted) and his rancorous wheelchair-bound wife Zoya (Debbie Patterson), billed as the world’s "sexiest chicken geek." Zoya’s pubescent daughter Albina (Gislina Patterson) is rebelling at her servitude (towing mom with a rope) and has outgrown her daddy’s-little-girl designation, with precognitive son Spartak (Solmund MacPherson) caught in the middle, even as he aspires to scaling the heights of his father with his circus act as "Anti-gravity Boy."

Maxim observes that women like Zoya feel "the pull of the grave" in contrast to his own communion with the sky, and that dynamic is poetically dramatized right up until the moving finale. Even so, this circus has its gentle fun too, with young Gislina singing a dear ditty titled Coin-Operated Boy. It wouldn’t be right to say mom steals the show, but her heavenly portrayal of a morose, accordion-playing vamp/geek is one hell of a creation.

— Randall King
 

From the official Fringe Festival program:

Step right up to this twisted carnival of human oddities: Gaze at the bizarre human stork and the fattest woman on wheels. Behold the ethereal beauty of the prairie rosebud. Gasp at the feats of anti-gravity boy. From the family of freaks who brought you 'Candy From a Baby': Arne MacPherson, Debbie Patterson and their unfortunate offspring Gislina and Solmund.


Warnings: Subject Matter, Language,
RECOMMENDED: General Audience

60 min.

Venue#6 Tom Hendry Theatre at the MTC Warehouse 140 Rupert Ave (Lily St entrance)

Tickets: $8
Discount Tickets: $7 for Students, Seniors, Kids (12 & under), Bearded ladies

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