Last night Workshop West's Canoe Festival opened with two shows at C103 (formerly Catalyst Theatre) . I had to wait for Mark to get home so I managed to make it to Send in the Girl's Tudor Queens. This was a hit show at the Edmonton Fringe in 2011 and I saw it and loved it then but was excited to see the re-boot in a better space with much better sight-lines and more room for their dances and, from what I had heard, all new costumes! What was great two years ago was indeed EVEN BETTER to see last night. The Dances were tighter and the choreography sharper (I think having the wider deck allowed them to really do it justice) and the design concept much more cohesive. I loved the consistency of the costuming (I really wanted to see the crests on their robes close up!). The script is still funny and biting and each of the six actors brings their own charms to their characters to make them unique. Two new cast members (Laura Metcalfe as Anne of Cleves and Caley Suliak as Katherine of Aragon) join returning royalty, Elena Porter, Ellen Chorley, Delia Barnett and Morgan Smith, and they fit in as though they had been there for eternity. If you missed it at Fringe 2011, I recommend catching it now. If you saw it then and liked it, it's even better so, again, I recommend.
While waiting for the show to begin, I chatted with the person sitting next to me who turned out to be Victoria Melody who is here from Brighton, UK to present her show Northern Soul which combines African American soul music with films, photos and stories of her life most particularly living with pigeon fanciers in England. I am hoping to catch her show tonight as most of the people who I saw leaving it said it was really good, plus I found Victoria really lovely to chat with and who knows when she might be coming through our city again? Mark is making a concerted effort to get home earlier tonight so that I can make it. Victoria is only here in Edmonton and Canada for a quick tour. After Canoe Festival she heads to Vancouver for the Push Festival and then she heads off to Banff where she is leading an intensive. Another reason I feel lucky to live in Edmonton is that we have these brilliant International Artists come through to share their talents with us. Flipping through the Canoe Festival guide you can see local artists like Send in the Girls and Vice Versa as well as artists from across Canada like Mary Walsh (of 22 Minutes fame) and artists from around the world like Victoria Melody.