Theatre for Everyone: 2019 Vancouver Fringe Festival Preview with District Local


It’s one of our favourite things to do each year in September: giving folks a preview of the theatre buffet happening at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. District Local is once again hosting our preview picks, so jump on over to their website to read the full article.

We’ll also be doing mini-reviews of the Fringe shows we’re seeing, so check back here or visit our Facebook page and Twitter feed during the festival.

Alright, let’s get Fringing!

Image: Christache Ross/Vancouver Fringe Festival

Fringe Official: SELF-ish Playwright and Assaulted Fish member Kuan Foo joins Vancouver Fringe board of directors

Fringe Board

He’s performed at the Fringe. He’s written a Fringe play. What’s left but to join the Fringe?

On July 25, 2019 Kuan Foo was officially voted in as a member of the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society‘s board of directors. He joins a stellar company of dedicated theatre advisors that include president Sharon Sutherland, vice-president Claudia Sjoberg, treasurer Jai Djwa, secretary Robyn Kurtz, as well as Lesley Carty, Lee-Lyn Gan, Nancy More, Jennifer O’Leary, Jim Sibley and Katia Tynan.

Over the last few years, Vancouver Fringe has made equity, diversity and inclusion a priority at the festival. Their vision is “Theatre for Everyone”, but they recognize that not all voices are heard and not all members of the community are represented on stage at the Fringe. They see the unique role they can play in advancing equitable, diverse, inclusive theatre for all, and have not only committed to this direction but are also encouraging meaningful dialogue and doing active outreach. Visit their EDI page to learn more about their work in this area.

As a former policy lawyer in the area of equity and diversity and in his current professional role as an accessibility advisor for students, Kuan brings a unique lens and wealth of expertise to the Vancouver Fringe. And let’s not forget his cheery disposition and stunning good looks!

Congratulations, Kuan!

Strangers on a Train Reading – February 19

Hi Fish Fans!

Still fresh and glowy from his success at the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival, Kuan will be one of the featured writers at Strangers on a Train, a literary reading series hosted by the English Department at Langara College.

He’ll be sharing excerpts from his recent Pick of the Fringe play SELF-ish, as well as Blood Makes Noise, which had its debut in Seattle as part of a staged play reading festival.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Hope to see you there!

Where: The Kino Cafe (3456 Cambie St. between W. 18th and 19th Ave.)

When: Tuesday, February 19, 6:00pm to 7:30pm

More infoLangara English Facebook page

SOAT Poster-Kuan-Feb 2019

Kuan’s Photo: Marlene Dong | Poster: Langara Communications & Marketing Department

Capsule Review: Bombay Black

By Marlene Dong in partnership with District Local

Bombay Black

Anosh Irani’s award-winning play is a sensory experience. There’s the light sandalwood aroma that envelopes you when you enter the theatre. The din of Indian street life assails your ears, punctuated occasionally by a voice that invites you to imagine yourself as a blind person in Bombay. There are black blindfolds draped over each seat to help you journey into the world of Bombay Black.

Set in present-day Bombay, the play is the story of Apsara (Arshdeep Purba) who lives with her mother Padma (Nimet Kanji). They eke out a living through Apsara’s erotic dances for wealthy men. One day, a mysterious blind man named Kamal (Munish Sharma) comes calling, raising the spectre of a past that has great repercussions in the present.

On the surface, Apsara and Kamal seem to be the main focus of the play, but really, it’s the relationship between Apsara and Padma that make up the heart of Bombay Black. Their power dynamics are riveting and horrifying, and as performed with ferocity and cutting humour by Kanji, Padma is a force to be reckoned with.

If the play is unflinching in its portrayal of vengeance and betrayal, the language is by contrast lush and beautiful. Kamal doesn’t have sight, but he woos Apsara with words that sing and dance in their imagery. During the play’s magical realism scenes, the lighting and sound designs add the perfect elements of poetry and mystery.

In this time of #metoo, the trauma that the two women are revealed to have suffered doesn’t come as a surprise. As sad as that reality is, you’ll emerge from this play reminded of the strength and resilience of women.

Bombay Black

Written by Anosh Irani

Directed by Rohit Chokhani

Featuring Nimet Kanji, Arshdeep Purba and Munish Sharma

Bombay Black plays at the Firehall Arts Centre December 5-15. For tickets and info, click here.

Please note that this review is the completely subjective opinion of the specific writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the other members of Assaulted Fish.