The Ballad of Frank Allen at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

THE BALLAD OF FRANK ALLEN - Shane Adamczak and St John Cowcher. Image by Paul Robinson

THE BALLAD OF FRANK ALLEN – Shane Adamczak and St John Cowcher. Image by Paul Robinson

The Ballad of Frank Allen by Shane Adamczak
August 18 – 21, 23 – 27 at Venue #13: Old Strathcona Public Library


An interview with Shane Adamczak.

Describe your show in one sentence.

A  weird comedy about a man who lives in another man’s beard.

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

I’ll admit, it’s a pretty bizarre premise, but that’s what Fringe is all about, stuff you’re not going to see anywhere else. The show is about a janitor named Frank Allen working in a lab who accidentally gets shrunk and ends up living in man’s beard. The man is Al, a slacker and hopeless romantic, just trying to get through each day. Together the two form a friendship as Frank slowly tries to help Al be a better man. It’s been described as Pixar’s Ratatouille… bet set in a beard. It’s a buddy-comedy about two men learning they can be more than they are.

The Ballad of Frank Allen is about proving small people can do big things. What sorts of ‘big things’ are accomplished in your show?

The main thing that seems to intrigue people is how we show the two worlds both in and out of the beard on stage. There’s a lot of really fun physical split screen style stuff we get to do. Also this time around (we had the show here last year) my co-star is Al Lafrance, the man the character of “Al” is actually based of. Essentially he’s playing a version of himself, which has been really fun to work with and I think audiences will really enjoy, we’ve come up with a bunch of new stuff in the show that’s taken it to another level of silliness.

When we previewed The Ballad of Frank Allen last year, you mentioned when you wrote a short story about a little man living in another man’s beard, you fell in love with the story and had to turn it into a play. What is it about this premise and story that keeps you coming back to it?

I’m a big fan of originality. I think there are so many shows that have just been done to death, and as a theatre company I’m not interested in being a cover band…we’re all about making weird, exciting, original work that’s never been seen before in theatre. Fringe is the punk-rock of the theatre work, we’re people get to take big risks and make work that sprinting away from the mainstream. I also just love the dynamic between two characters in the show. At its heart, The Ballad Of Frank Allen is a buddy-comedy, a tale of two men exploring who they are and who they could become, but the way to we get to tell their story is totally absurd.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

The show won the Just For Laughs Award for Best Comedy at the Montreal Fringe this year, which was a thrill. We think you’ll have a really great time at our show. It’s got songs, physical comedy, romance, bromance, sci-fi and cast of insanely weird characters. Don’t be afraid. Task risks. Go see shows from out of town, go see shows that sound super weird. Go see shows that push you out of your comfort zone. Fringe like crazy. See you at the beer tent afterwards.

The 36th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 17 – 27. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca starting August 9.

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