The Ballad of Frank Allen at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

hane Adamczak and St John Cowcher in The Ballad of Frank Allen. Photo credit: Thea Fitz-James

hane Adamczak and St John Cowcher in The Ballad of Frank Allen. Photo credit: Thea Fitz-James

The Ballad of Frank Allen by Shane Adamczak
August 11, 13, 15 – 17, 19, and 21 at Venue #9: Telus Phone Museum
More information: weepingspoon.com


An interview with Shane Adamczak.

Describe your show in five words.

Buddy comedy in a beard

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

The show follows a year in the life of two men, Al, a slacker and hopeless romantic and Frank, a tiny janitor who lives in his beard. It’s a bizarre comedy looking at how even the smallest people can achieve big things. It a very strange but really fun show filled with music, physical comedy, slapstick and ridiculous mime. A cool jumpsuits.

The Ballad of Frank Allen is about a man who lives in another man’s beard… I have to ask, how did you come up with this concept for a show?

The beard in question is the beard of an actual real-life friend of mine from Montreal (who became a main character in the show). I wrote a short story series a few years ago about a tiny man who lived in his beard who had basically influenced all his life decisions and I fell in love with the absolutely strange story and decided I needed to make it into a stage show. My company is all about taking the weird, strange and bizarre elements of the world around us and filling it with comedy and heart.

The impetus for The Ballad of Frank Allen is a science experiment gone wrong – can you talk about the relationship between your two characters and how it evolves throughout the show?

Part of the fun of our show is how long the characters go without actually meeting, despite having such a huge impact on each other’s lives. Al’s life is heading in a fairly meaningless direction and Frank (from his beard) finds many little ways to help him become a better man. It’s a buddy comedy like Turner and Hooch if Tom Hanks had a beard and the dog lived in his beard…okay it’s not that much like Turner and Hooch. Great movie though.

Can you talk a little about what audiences can expect from the music of this show?

There’s a good mix of tunes to tug at the heartstrings and some down right bawdy comedy drinking songs. Something for everyone. After the Australian seasons of the show there has been lots of nice requests for the soundtrack which we finally got around to completing and Edmonton will actually be the first fringers to be able to get it!

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

I want you all to take a chance on our strange show. Seeing something different is what Fringe is all about. I promise you’ll leave smiling. Our work is for everyone from long-time theatre audiences, to comedy fans to first timers. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

The 35th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 11 – 21. Tickets go on sale August 3 at noon and will be available at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

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