Fringe review: The Trip

The Trip
Directed by Scott Barrington, Paul Morgan Donald, Josh Languedoc and Ed Picard; Yardbird Suite; until Sat., Aug. 24.
Our Score
2

By Miya Abe

Ed, Scott, and Josh create an improvised vacation based on suggestions from the audience. After each act, a ‘detour’ is thrown in to shake up the performance, which comes in the form of a genre change. On Friday’s performance, what started as a story about a miserable office worker going to Mexico ended up as a dystopian world-saving tale involving the protagonist and his talking cats.

The show’s concept attempts a fresh take on long-form improv, but there were issues with the execution. First of all, the actors did not fully commit to the genres they were to use throughout the production. At Friday’s performance, the second act was to be a sci-fi melodrama. While the performers tried to run with science fiction story elements, they did not introduce any melodrama elements at all, which definitely would have generated more laughter. The last act was to be a tragedy, but the narrative inexplicably ended happily and hopefully for the protagonist. 

The idea of genre-flipping is interesting but the left-field elements of the plot ended up deviating too much from the vacation narrative. If the twists and turns encountered by the characters were a bit more firmly rooted in a road trip or vacation plot, the show would more strongly deliver what it promised.

Ed, Scott, and Josh played alongside each other well and gave each other opportunities to shine. However, they spent a lot of unnecessary time postulating on the audience’s suggestions rather than jumping into the next act, and they struggled to keep the story’s momentum going, which revealed their lack of experience.

The Edmonton Fringe Festival hosts some of the most amazing improv shows in the country. Before this show can become one of them, the performers need a few more trips around the sun.

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