NextFest 2015: E-Town Clown Cabaret

As part of NextFest 2015, Fool Spectrum Theatre is presenting two special renditions of their E-Town Clown Cabaret. Typically the cabaret takes place the last Wednesday of the month, September – May, but as part of NextFest two special cabarets were presented: one tonight (June 7) and one Thursday, June 11 at 7:30.

I checked out tonight’s performance, which was 7 bits from 8 performers. The show on Thursday night will be more of a preview of Fool Spectrum Theatre’s two upcoming 2015 Fringe shows. I’m not going to “review” the performance like you’d usually find on this blog, but I just want to jot down a few thoughts on what I experienced at the show. I wasn’t really sure what to expect as, even though there are quite a few opportunities to see clown performances in Edmonton, I don’t think I’ve ever attended one.

I ended up being surprised not only at how much I enjoyed the cabaret, but how much I related to the clowns. To me, clowns are all about making the ordinary extraordinary and experiencing these pure, unbridled emotions. I’m a pretty reserved person, so I didn’t know if I would feel uncomfortable or if I’d be able to be immersed in the clown experience. It was definitely the latter, especially during a bit called Summer Daze, where the performer was experiencing the intense pleasure in being outside on a sunny beach in the summer and especially enjoying the strawberries and beer he brought with him. As he was letting out those little sighs of happiness throughout the performance, I couldn’t help but think, “My goodness, that’s me!”

I also really enjoyed the clown Laura-Anne’s performance, which was based on advice about how to get a man from a certain women’s magazine, which later evolved into how to know if that same man is cheating on you. We’ve probably all seen or heard something making fun of Cosmo’s articles, but to see clown enthusiasm and literalism in the enactment of those advice articles made for a very poignant (and hilarious) critique.

There’s one more special E-Town Clown Cabaret as part of NextFest 2015: Thursday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Campus St. Jean (8406 91 Avenue).

Tickets are $10 per show, $18 for a day pass or $40 for a festival pass and can be bought by phoning the Theatre Network box office (780.453.2440) Monday – Friday, noon – 5:00 p.m. and in-person at Campus St. Jean 1 hour before the performance. Day and festival passes can be bought online or in person through Tix on the Square.

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