Running on Stilts at Edmonton Fringe Festival

Running on Stilts
C103 (8529 Gateway Blvd.) August 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 24
More information: rossvegas.com.au


An interview with Ross Vegas.

Describe your show in five words. 

Acrobatics, Hip-Hop, Autobiographical Storytelling, Comedy.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

For decades Ross Vegas has pounded the pavements of the world, from the cobbled squares of old Europe, to the arid frontiers of remote Australia, surviving on nothing but a frayed wit and a battered suitcase of circus props.

These are the tales from the road less travelled.

Direct from Australia to the Canadian fringe circuit, and fresh from a sellout season, comes a portrait of a clown in crisis, told through circus, spoken word and hip-hop.

This dynamic, visceral style of storytelling will make you laugh and hit you hard.

Being a circus and hip-hop artist is quite the combination. How did you develop those two very diverse skills and what made you decide to combine them?

I have always tried to follow my muse, to create whatever is in my heart and head that I can’t find out in the world. Circus and hip-hop both share that element of “showing-off” of hyping the crowd, of interactivity, call and response, of going to extremes, of taking risks. Both are self expression in it’s purist sense – not referring to anything but the artist themselves and the crowd and the situation. Both are deeply personal and about the experience of the performer, about the skill for the sake of the skill. On the other hand, circus is a exploration of the physical possibilities of the human body, while rap is more cerebral, so both have their place in expressing different ideas and emotions. My intention with this show was to create a coherent narrative that traverses several genres.

Your show is about storytelling – what themes or ideas run throughout the show?

Running on Stilts deals with themes of love and loss, the power of art to heal and connect people, loneliness and connection, self reliance and community.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

The show is not for kids. I’m also part of the busker program and my stuff there is family friendly, but I wanted to take the opportunity of the indoor show to look at some of the more difficult and darker aspects of life, while still finding the comedy and joy in them. Adult concepts, strong language.

Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?

The show was created on the West Coast of Australia, but I’m here because some of my friends from home have visited and told me that it’s a great festival and that Edmontonians are an enthusiastic, arts-loving bunch. Some of your locals have been very good to me so far, the Festival team have made my great journey so much easier, doing me the courtesy of seeing the show in Winnipeg so they could help me present it in the best way possible in Edmonton. The crew from Red Wine, French Toast, and the Best Sex You’ve Ever Had have made me very welcome and helped out alot. The 11 O’clock Number are a fun bunch of impro kids.

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca

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