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Tales From Another England
Presented by Screwed & Clued

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Reviewed: 2005-07-28 18:39:52
Rated: 8 out of 10 [4 Stars]
By: John Chase (Director@winnipegonstage.com)

Speaking to a friend who attended the same performance of "Tales From Another England" that I did, I was rather shocked to find out that they hadn't entirely enjoyed the show. After some digging, I discovered that it was only the subject of the material that didn't intrigue them, and that they agreed wholeheartedly with me about the undeniable talent of Justin Sage-Passant, the show's sole performer.

Having considered that conversation, I suppose it's fair to say that just as some people find British comedies hilariously entertaining and others just aren't "into" the style of humour, so it may also be with a show that illustrates many characters straight from the streets of England. However, I enjoyed the production immensely, as would, I feel, anyone who is a fan of British humour or even appreciative of distinctly English characters.

I say "characters" in the plural, because Mr Sage-Passant creates a veritable array of them throughout the course of the play, each with their own discernable voice, dialect, and physicality. Very well written, the show's comedic characters take you on a grand journey all over "another" England -- the sides of England that we may not always think about, or want to -- and an emotional twist at the end of the play makes various snippets of information that we've been given up until that point all make sense in clockwork fashion.

The show was also a very solid technically, with smooth transitions, and a set built around the "less is more" philosophy: a very minimal number of objects on the stage that are used for multiple purposes and effects. It is also very worth noting that whatever objects the performer didn't have, he mimed with considerable skill.

One potentially negative aspect to attending this show has nothing to do with the production itself, but is the fact that the stage has audience on three sides. Those who sit at the left and right of the stage have a far less optimal view of the action than those who face it.

This production has been selling out, so get your tickets -- and line up to get in -- early.

John Chase
July 28, 2005

(Note: This production is part of the 2005 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. Visit - http://www.winnipegfringe.com/ )

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