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Fringe Festival Preview – Kitt & Jane: an interactive survival guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future

By Devan Marr on June 18, 2014

SNAFU Dance theatre | Actual Run Time: 75 Minutes

Editor’s note: For the last five year’s Apartment613 has reviewed every single Ottawa Fringe play in our Fully Fringed initiative. This year we sent Dev Marr to the Montreal Fringe to do a bit of recognisance on some of the plays heading to Ottawa later this week. The Montreal Fringe runs until June 22, while the Ottawa Festival starts this Thursday, June 19. Check out all of Apt613’s reviews here.

The company that brought you Little Orange Man is back with another winner. Fun, quirky, and physical, Kitt & Jane provides everything you want in a Fringe play. In this new instalment of Kitt’s adventures she is joined by Jane, her socially awkward soft spoken male companion who’s name is actually Lucas. Together they attempt to impress upon the audience (a hijacked school assembly), the perils the world is facing from the coming apocalypse. Kitt and Jane only have 1 hour to live, and they’re going to use it to teach you how to survive what’s coming. The only question is, will you be listening?

Through a series of “dramatic re-enactments” the duo tells the audience how they met, and how they came to discover that in five short years the world as we know it will end. Fortunately, Kitt and Jane are here to help. With a useful run down of the potential futures ranging from “dead rock world” to “fortress world” the pair explain how we get there and what we might do to prevent it. Diagrams, songs, and shadow work are all used to instruct the audience on what to do when the dreaded day comes.

Although couched in the quirky antics of two fourteen year olds, the play touches upon important messages such as food security, environmental sustainability, and class inequality. Unlike other productions I’ve seen, this production does a good job of making it a central focus, without beating you over the head with it. Maybe it was their disarmingly cute antics, or the monologue made almost entirely of colloquialisms, or the original songs, but the message was easily received and digested.

Kitt & Jane is a delightful show full of energy, non-linear narrative, and even a little audience participation. I recommend sitting in the first row or two for the best effect. The set is fairly elaborate for a Fringe show while maintaining a functional simplicity. The opening show played to a 2/3 full house which is quite the feat considering it had an 11:30pm start time. I have no doubt that this play will be one of the best plays you’ll see at this year’s Fringe. It is serious, ridiculous, sombre, and joyful in all the right ways. While the ending doesn’t have quite the emotional clout that Little Orange Man did, it will certainly leave you smiling.

Kathleen Greenfield, Ingrid Hansen & Rod Peter Jr, have put together another amazing production. Even if you hate the environment, Kitt & Jane: an interactive survival guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future should be on your Fringe short list of shows to see.

Kitt & Jane: an interactive survival guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future, is playing at the Montreal Fringe at MAI(Montreal, arts interculturels) at 3680 Jeanne-Mance. The next showings are Sunday June 15, at 20:00, Monday June 16, at 18:00, Wednesday June 18, at 23:15, Friday June 20, at 14:15, and Saturday June 21, at 21:45.

Kitt & Jane will then be at the Ottawa Fringe in Venue 3 – Academic Hall. The shows times are Monday, June 23, at 18:30, Wednesday June 25, at 21:00, Thursday, June 26, at 17:30, Saturday, June 28, at 15:30, and Sunday, June 29, at 19:30