Posts Tagged ‘The Berkshire Fringe Festival’

Berkshire Fringe: The Wardrobe Ensemble Offers a Whirlwind “Riot” and a Doleful “33” [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, August 11th, 2014
33 is about friendship, hope and Elvis Presley.

“33” is about friendship, hope and Elvis Presley.

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: After seeing two performances by the Bristol, UK theatre company the Wardrobe Ensemble at the Berkshire Fringe Festival, all I can say is that I wish they would move to Pittsfield and set up shop here. They are the most entertaining, energetic and disciplined theatre company I have seen in some time. They use makeshift materials in an improvised theatre inside a repurposed church to bring their bold ideas and innovative physical theatre to life. Brilliantly.

They are performing two original works at the Berkshire Fringe, Riot and 33. Which did you like better?

Gail M. Burns: I had seen and reviewed Riot before, when it came to the Fringe in 2012, and I think it is still my favorite, even though I thoroughly enjoyed 33. As you mentioned, both plays are based on real-life events. On February 10, 2005, there was a riot at the midnight opening of a new Ikea store in Edmondton, a northern section of London. Thousands of people turned up, nine ambulances were called and six people were kept overnight in hospitals. Much of the dialogue for Riot comes directly from media reports of that event.

Larry: I knew that Riot would be the one that struck a familiar chord with me since my kitchen is from Ikea. I have almost panicked in those Jean-Paul Sartre designed maze-like stores where there is no quick way out – you have to pass every item in the endless aisles before an exit finally appears. The help won’t give you any help either. And Riot captures that trapped feeling in a visceral way, though it is much less intimidating to be an onlooker than a participant. Throughout the course of Riot we see endless running, shoving and even some flying through the air as the troupe reenacted an actual event.

Gail: The physicality of Riot is breathtaking. This company works fearlessly together, and containing all that energy in a very small playing space makes the violence even more explosive.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Berkshire Fringe Moving to Upstreet Cultural District, Plans Its 2014 Festival in Pittsfield [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The Berkshire Fringe 2014

Story by Larry Murray

Following in the footsteps of Barrington Stage Company and the Berkshire Theatre Group, a third major theatre company has decided to make Pittsfield – and its developing Upstreet Cultural District – its home base.

The Berkshire Fringe Festival, which has made its home at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington for the past nine years, is moving its operation to Pittsfield where it will present its tenth season this summer.

Dedicated to the work of new and emerging artists, it will no doubt benefit from the city’s younger demographic, as do the Berkshire Actor’s Theatre and WAM Theatre, which have also emerged in recent years, greatly enriching the local scene. Planning is also underway for a first-ever Shakespeare in the Park in Pittsfield, an initiative of Enrico Spada, who recently received a commitment of support from the Pittsfield Cultural Council.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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