Our picks for the Vancouver Fringe Festival

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Grief! Vaudeville! Nineties nostalgia! Musicals! Housing insecurity! Shakespeare reimaginings! Wildlife metaphors! Puppets! 

      Yes, the Vancouver Fringe Festival is back this September—and, like any good Fringe, there’s a jam-packed schedule of shows put on by struggling artists, hoping that this year is the year their show sells out and gets a rave review on a cool Instagram page, and they get plucked up by a talent agent to star in a low-budget CBC comedy series. Though, that’s not totally fair: there are plenty of non-comedians in the mix, too, who’d probably be absolutely horrified to suddenly land an internet sketch show. 

      With scores of shows set to take place across a dozen venues around Granville Island and the surrounding slopes between September 7 to 17, we’ve dug through the program to see what really grabbed our attention. General ticket booking opens August 24, giving you some time to mull over what to go see, and shows start at just $15 (with base ticket costs going straight to the artists).

      And yes, there are musicals, Shakespeare reimaginings, and puppets—as well as so much more. But the most important thing with any Fringe festival is to take a chance on something random. You never know: it might just be the best show you’ve ever seen. 

      See the full list of Fringe performances here.



      What’s the best way to figure out what to go all in on at an all-you-can-eat buffet? Try a little bit of everything! That’s the same logic behind this annual all-you-can-perform showcase, which gives Fringe artists two minutes to wow you before they’re replaced by the next act.

      When: September 6, 7pm

      Where: Performance Works, 1218 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

      Cost: $21


      Three years of work and research from choreographer Kylie Thompson culminated in this visceral three-person dance piece. A trio of women, joined at the hip, perform their own separate yet connected pieces in an absurd yet calm meditation on contemporary dance.

      When: September 7 to 12, various times between 5pm and 8:45pm

      Where: Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

      Cost: $15

      Macbeth, Un-Scotched 

      Calgarian David Haysom plays the Bard himself in this solo tour-de-force, written by his mother Morag, running through the Scottish play as it would have sounded in 1606.

      When: September 7 to 16, various times between 5pm and 9:05pm

      Where: Pacific Theatre, 1440 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver

      Cost: $15

      The Marvelous Misadventures of Boofus and Schmoozle

      Taking place in open-air environs, two clowns butt heads as they attempt to pony up the coins to allow them to rejoin the circus. Performed by sibling theatre troupe Far From the Tree, the two-hander promises misfit mayhem.

      When: September 7 and 8, 14 to 16, 6pm; September 9, 3pm

      Where: Granville Island Picnic Pavillion, 267 Old Bridge Walk, Vancouver

      Cost: $16

      Forest of Truth

      Osaka’s Theatre Group GUMBO’s sense-assaulting romp through a man and a woman falling in love in an over-the-top forest has been amusing, bemusing, and confusing audiences around the world since at least 2015. It’s seminal (pun intended) Fringe content. 

      When: September 8 to 16, various times between 12:30pm and 10:30pm

      Where: The Nest, 1398 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

      Cost: $18


      Physical comedy troupe Ragmop Theatre brings a breath of fresh air to clowning. Nayana Fielkov unravels perception and reality in this surreal one-woman show.  

      When: September 8 to 16, various times between 1:50pm and 9pm

      Where: Arts Umbrella, 1400 Johnston Street, Vancouver

      Cost: $18

      The Pigeon and the Dove: A History of Hatred and Love

      Pigeons get a bad rap. Vancouver singer-songwriter Reid Jamieson helped create this folk opera that examines housing insecurity through song, comedy, and columbidae. 

      When: September 8 to 16, various times between 2:45pm and 10pm

      Where: Revue Stage, 1601 Johnston Street, Vancouver

      Cost: $15

      Cabaret of Murder

      This adults-only look at artwork made by serial killers combines comedy with true crime. By mixing humour and the macabre, three funny women promise to pick apart the dark arts.

      When: September 9 to 17, various times between 2:45pm and 10:10pm

      Where: Studio 16, 1555 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver

      Cost: $18

      How to Tame Your Squirrel 

      Earl Casablanca III is a third-generation squirrel tamer on a mission to curb the eastern grey squirrel population. Puppetry, interactive games, and improv weave through this theatrical production from Vancouver-based performer NAV

      When: September 9 to 16, various times between 3:05pm and 8:20pm

      Where: Pacific Theatre, 1440 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver

      Cost: $17