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You want a safe, pleasant, pretty play? Nutting doing!

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/7/2009 (3406 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

EDMONTON writer-performer Kristine Nutting isn't a fan of middle-brow com­fort theatre.

She also isn't thrilled that fringe festivals have become dominated by one and two­person comedies.

"There's nothing wrong with them," says Nutting, a former Winnipegger who left in 1998 to take her master's degree in theatre at the University of Alberta.

"But the fringe used to be about variety."

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/7/2009 (3406 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

EDMONTON writer-performer Kristine Nutting isn't a fan of middle-brow com­fort theatre.

She also isn't thrilled that fringe festivals have become dominated by one and two­person comedies.

Nutting promises the opportunity to see something horrible ‘in the best sense of the word.’

Nutting promises the opportunity to see something horrible ‘in the best sense of the word.’

"There's nothing wrong with them," says Nutting, a former Winnipegger who left in 1998 to take her master's degree in theatre at the University of Alberta.

"But the fringe used to be about variety."

Nutting's new show, Pig: A Peep Show of For­bidden

Acts From the Farm ( opening tonight at 6 p.m. in Venue 22 ), is nothing if not risky.

First, billed as a rock musical, it boasts 12 people on stage (eight actors, six of them women, and four musicians) and lasts two hours, including intermission.

Second, it is being staged in a strip club.

Its lead character is a glamorous lady evan­gelist who grooms wayward girls to become stars in her boyfriend's private peep show, which he runs at his farm.

And third, with its vulgar language, sleazy subject matter and lots of nudity, it will make many in the audience distinctly uncomfortable, perhaps like Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie, Brüno.

"If you want to see something beautiful, you won't find it," says Nutting, who plays a character she has described as "a fat girl from Brandon."

"But it gives you the opportunity to see something pleasantly horrible — and I mean horrible in the best sense of the word."

Nutting premiered Pig at last year's Edmonton fringe, where it made a list of the fest's 10 best.

Integral to its success, she says, was its venue, a grungy and historic strip club in the city's downtown core. The owner had turned her down the first time but relented after she wrote him a letter that played on his vanity.

"We tried staging it once in a conventional theatre," she says. "It was awful."

After winning a slot for a BYOV in Win­nipeg's fringe, she phoned the owners of the Solid Gold Strip Club, formerly The Gentle­men's Club, formerly the Oxford Hotel.

Her calls went unanswered. So she stopped here on the way home from Mont­real's Edgy Women Festival in March.

She donned a pair of tight jeans and at 9 p.m., without an appointment, went to see the owners, Robert and Sabino Tummillo.

They bought her pitch.

"It's a great idea," says Robert Tummillo, whose bar will serve alcohol during the per­formance. "You have to try anything these days to make a dollar."

With its subject matter, Pig may call to mind the sordid history of B.C. serial killer Robert Pickton.

"It is not about Pickton," Nutting insists. "It's about how this culture chooses to entertain itself."

morley.walker@freepress.mb.ca

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Sweet Nuttings

Nutting has a degree in theatre from the University of Winnipeg. She was last at the Winnipeg Fringe in 2005 with her Prairie Gothic version of Chekhov's Three Sisters.

With 15 people on the payroll (eight actors, four musicians and three technicians), she knows that a profit from staging her show in the 170-seat club will elude her. "I can't resist an impossible challenge," she says. "But just because it's impos­sible doesn't mean you shouldn't try."

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