From Jan. 23 – Feb. 3, Intrepid Theatre presents its new Winterlab festival, which incorporates acts from around the globe in one dynamic, theatrical extravaganza. Winterlab is the next festival in Intrepid’s lineup following the successful Victoria Fringe Festival, which last year celebrated its 26th anniversary. The theatre company typically brings in acts that perform outside the usual bounds of theatre, be it through the treatment of contemporary issues or the way a performance is structured.
As a new experiment, Winterlab has built upon Intrepid Theatre’s previous successes to attract internationally acclaimed artists to give audiences, as publicist Sammie Gough says, “a reason to come out and experience innovative and inspiring theatre from around the world in the middle of winter.” The shows are selected by Intrepid’s artistic director, Janet Munsil. This year, she selected acts from four different countries — Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Belgium. Hold on tight as you prepare to go on what Gough calls a “theatrical rollercoaster ride.”
Canadian artist Daniel Barrow’s manual animation and U.K.-based company Il Pixel Rosso’s immersive theatre-meets-film combination both challenge what we think of as theatre. Il Pixel Rosso enters an up-and-coming field of immersive theatre with their piece, And the Birds Fell From the Sky. The troupe makes innovative use of technology to drive forward their performance and manipulate audience members’ senses.
Montreal’s Daniel Barrow similarly stretches the meaning of theatre through his live animations exploring art and narrative. His performances, Looking for Love in the Hall of Mirrors + Thief of Mirrors and Winnipeg Babysitter, coincide with an exhibit of his, which will be shown at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Jan. 23 – Feb. 14.
Vanessa Van Durme’s Look Mummy, I’m Dancing comes all the way from Belgium. This performance has a truly international background, having being previously performed in four different languages across Europe and America. Van Durme challenges prejudices and misconceptions about gender reassignment from the outset of her performance, having gone through the process, in this intimate, wit-filled act.
We can also look forward to seeing a previous Victoria Fringe Festival success, Grim & Fischer by Wonderheads, which has enjoyed acclaim across North America by winning several Best in Fest awards. Following in the Commedia Dell’Arte tradition in which creators Kate Braidwood and Andrew Phoenix are both trained, this show is a fully masked piece that pits an elderly woman against death.
Intrepid Theatre has once again brought Victoria into a theatrical wonderland. Can you resist a trip down the rabbit hole?
Winterlab Theatre Festival
Jan. 23 – Feb. 3
$69 festival pass (all five shows)
Tickets available online at ticketrocket.org, or call (250) 590- 6291 intrepidtheatre.com