Skip To Content

Apt613 Reviewers’ Pick: Best of the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival


Ottawa’s largest theatre festival closes tonight and everyone has put in a massive amount of work. Our Apt613 review crew got to see every one of 57 shows at the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival, and after a rigorous voting and adjudication process we picked what we thought were the best shows. Without further ado… here we go!

Best Show

The Fringe lineup is drawn from a hat. Seriously. There are no curators, no censorship, no limitations. It’s all up to the artists and the audience.  All that separates the best of fest from the rest of fest is talent, drive, and imagination. Here are Apt613 reviewers’ picks for the best shows of 2017:

apt613pick41st Prize: Ethel by Madeleine Hall

Runner-up: High Tea by James & Jamesy

Honourable mentions: Dicky Dicky Dream Factory by Ray Besharah & David Benedict Brown; Delirium by Martin Dockery.

Best New Work

Nearly half of the program is made up of never before seen shows – performances making their debut at the festival. New shows have an uphill climb, they need to build an audience, break through the beer tent buzz, and figure out what they’re all about. Often, these are works in progress, and sometimes they come out with a bang. Here are Apt613’s picks for the best new works of 2017:

1st Prize: Ethel by Madeleine Hall

Runner-up: Dicky Dicky Dream Factory by Ray Besharah & David Benedict Brown

Honourable mentions: Fish Saw by Sachie Mikawa; Incognito: In Wishy Washy by Mike Kosowan; Lauren & Amanda Do It by Lauren Cauchy, Amanda Logan & Allison Harris.

Best Performance

A great performance can transform a show and a great performer can make an hour fly by. Here are the people who created some of the moments that Apt613’s review team loved the most:

1st Prize: Movin’ Melvin Brown: A Man, A Magic, A Music! (Melvin Brown)

Runner-up: Executing Justice (Bill Pats)

Honourable mentions: Ethel (Madeleine Hall); Rough Magic (Ensemble); The Comeback Tour (Ensemble); High Tea (Ensemble); Unbridled Futurism (Nick Di Gaetano).

Read show reviews at