News / Edmonton

Map: Fringe festival fever takes over Edmonton

Touring across the country last year to perform at fringe festivals brought Johnnie Walker and Morgan Norwich to the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival for the first time.

The Toronto pair form Nobody’s Business Theatre and have returned to Edmonton this year to perform as part of the 32nd annual edition of the fringe, which kicked off Thursday evening – and is the biggest festival of its kind in North America.

“Sometimes you assume that Toronto is going to have the biggest versions of everything,” said Walker. “Then we came to Winnipeg and we came here, and we realized there were these huge festivals happening kind of on a whole other level.

“We had a great time last year so we knew we wanted to come back.”

Walker and Norwich are performing Amusement in the Loonatic Fringe Tent at 85 Avenue and 104 Street.

Walker and Norwich are performing Amusement in the Loonatic Fringe Tent at 85 Avenue and 104 Street.

“It’s about two friends from Toronto … who wind up working at a certain Orlando theme park ... and having some merry misadventures,” said Walker.

“Definitely sort of merry and dark,” added Norwich. “It’s a fairytale for grownups. It’s a little raunchy.”

Nobody’s Business Theatre is one of more than 200 companies and performers that will put on nearly 2,000 shows through to Aug. 25.

“It’s a powerful force, it’s a known festival in and amongst the festival circuit,” said Fringe Theatre Adventures executive director Jill Roszell. “It is a destination for national and international artists, and it’s a great place for local artists to be able to present their work on that level of stage.”

For Norwich, it is the destination festival.

“If I only ever did one fringe a summer, it would be this one.”

By the numbers

  • There are 52 venues in total, including 11 lottery venues and 41 “Bring Your Own Venues.” Most are located in Old Strathcona, but others are in the French Quarter, downtown and on Alberta Avenue.
  • As of Thursday afternoon, 22,622 tickets had been sold – ahead of 21,600 prior to last year’s festival. The 2012 fringe set a record with 112,000 total tickets sold.

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