I realize that I haven’t written about the Magnetic North Theatre Festival yet. It’s only got 4 days to go, but it’s not over yet.
Magnetic North is Canada’s only national theatre festival. While each province has it’s own Fringe festival, Magnetic North brings theatre from different provinces and territories together in one festival. It’s held in a different city every year, and this year it’s in Halifax and Dartmouth.
Throughout the 11 days that the festival runs there are 13+ performances (some are shows, some dance marathons, some are more like parties, and the National Elevator Project has a different ‘show’ each night). There are also other events (such as Geeks VS Nerds), readings, pitches, discussions, and all kinds of things.
I was late to the game so I’ve only seen 3 shows so far – “When it Rains” by 2b Theatre; and two of the Elevator Project’s shows. I tried to get into “Lear”, but due to the way the show is staged there was very limited room for it and myself and my friend couldn’t get in. I wish that the capacity issues had been stated somewhere, since the show was at the venue with the largest capacity. Low capacity = buy your tickets early; while high capacity = just show up and it’ll probably be okay.
“When it Rains” is performed as a live-action comic book using amazing projections (and has an intriguing story that gave me some food for thought). The Elevator Project’s shows are performed in an elevator (natch’). In the first show I saw (“The Tip of Things”) one of the props was a hotel cleaning trolley, which took up most of the space, but the closeness is part of the experience. I’m not certain what happened in the show I saw, but I don’t think I would have changed any part of it. It was confusing, but also poetic. The second elevator show (“Earworm Duet”) was more straightforward – it was more of an inner-thoughts-being-vocalized type of thing, and it was really great and hilarious. If only more shows could be put in an elevator.
Most of the shows have ended by now (some run in the first half, but not the second), but there’s still time to get out and see something.