Vancouver Fringe Festival

To Sept. 17 | Various venues

Tickets & Info: $14 at vancouverfringe.com

Women definitely rule at the 2017 Fringe but not all their stories end happily. This day’s fringing took me to three shows by and about women facing challenges of various kinds.

Almost a Stepmom at Arts Umbrella

Keara Barnes moved to Ireland where she fell in love with Joe, a self-described Man United-aholic. She also fell in love with Joe’s sweet six-year-old daughter, Aoife. So far so good.

But Joe shared custody with Aoife’s mother, an angry, boozy, bitchy princess who became insanely jealous of the woman who had taken her place. ‘She Who Must Not Be Named’ (as Barnes calls her) set out to make Keara’s life a living hell.

This is your most basic Fringe show: a single performer on a bare stage re-enacting an episode from her own life. Barnes has been touring Almost a Stepmom for a while and has it polished to a shine. A very good actor, she switches quickly back and forth among her three principal characters and herself plus a kindly old neighbour, each with a distinctive voice, posture and Irish accent.

Her story is compelling and the storytelling funny, dramatic and sympathetic. Though …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Entertainment

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