Three Men in a Boat at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

The Three Men from Left to Right: Victor Pokinko, Matt Pilipiak, and Scott Garland. Photo credit: Mark Brownell

The Three Men from Left to Right: Victor Pokinko, Matt Pilipiak, and Scott Garland. Photo credit: Mark Brownell

Three Men in a Boat by Mark Brownell, adapted from Jerome K. Jerome’s travelogue of the same name
August 12 – 14, 16, 18, 20 at Venue #5: King Edward Elementary School
More information: peagreentheatre.com


An interview with Mark Brownell.

Describe your show in five words.

They forgot the can-opener.

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

Three Victorian bachelors (Jay, George, and Harris) spend a disastrous weekend punting up the river Thames. They encounter many nautical hardships along the way and drink far too much. They also bring their dog. (Big mistake.)

Three Men in a Boat is an adaptation of a travelogue by the same name. Why did you want to adapt this book for the stage?

My wife (director Sue Miner) and I have been fans of this book since we were kids. Jerome’s story is particularly suited for the stage because of its humorous and absurd descriptions of masculine behavior. It has a physical style of comedy that suits the stage as well as a wordly wit. (I actually don’t think “wordly” is a word. But you get the idea.) There is also a universal quality to the character’s suffering.  Everyone can identify with a bad camping experience. Canadians probably the most.

The original Three Men in a Boat is both humourous and sentimental. How do these two emotions manifest in the play?

The humorous elements stem from the fact that the characters are white-collar city men who try to take on nature and fail magnificently. The sentimental quality of the piece comes from the main character (Jay) visualizing a bucolic England of the past.

Your characters in Three Men in a Boat encounter a number of hardships – can you talk a bit about the difficult experiences they have on their weekend vacation?

They have a particularly bad experience with a can of pineapple. The dog doesn’t behave well at all. (No surprise there.) We have also added a few new incidents for this 75 minute version. Harris has a very bad run-in with a bevy of swans. It doesn’t go well.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

We are very excited to get the opportunity to perform this show at the Edmonton Fringe! Edmonton is the Fringiest of Fringes. There really is no better fringe. Even our dog agrees on Twitter: @Montmorency3Men

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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