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Fringe Review: Alpha Delta 86

By Apartment613 on June 19, 2016

By Sandy Gibson

55 minutes | Clown, Comedy, Family | G

Do you remember the first time you ate something you were hesitant to try but were greatly surprised by how good it tasted? For me, it was homemade guacamole with its odd combination of ingredients, greenish colour and the presence of the word “mole” in the name. However, the gastronomic delight I experienced after my first guac-ing shattered any inhibitions I had towards the delicious dip, and Alpha Delta 86 did the same thing for me with professional clowning.

Alpha Delta 86 lists itself as a family-friendly physical comedy featuring biscuit-eating clown spies who are supposed to be listening in on telephone conversations to find people who are in love — which has been banned in their world — and sentence them accordingly. That may seem like a lot to cram into a show, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. The show has tons of hilarious elements, but much like good guacamole, it combines them into a wonderful product that is greater than the sum of its parts.

The actresses, Kiva Murphy and Filipa Mendes, don’t actually wear clown make up, but instead dawn navy blue coveralls and, drawing upon the Lecoq style of clowning, engage in shenanigans ranging from musical routines with typewriters to covering the stage and each other with toilet paper. There are multiple instances in which they bring audience members up on stage, scan them for traces of love and deal with them accordingly. Though they play contrasting characters, Mendes and Murphy have magnificent stage chemistry and play off each other and the audience in a way that is truly a pleasure to watch. Furthermore, Alpha Delta 86 contains numerous elements of improvisation that enhance the show and bring the audience further into the beautifully bizarre world.

Listed at 55 minutes in length, the show is actually longer if you count the hijinks and audience interaction by Murphy and Mendes as patrons enter the theatre. Audience members would be wise to show up early so as to get more than their money’s worth. If you’re looking for a funny show with a warm message that’s a little out of the ordinary, put Alpha Delta 86 at the top of your list.

Alpha Delta 86 is playing at Studio Léonard-Beaulne (135 Séraphin-Marion) on Monday, June 20th at 5:30pm; Wednesday, June 22nd at 9:30pm; Saturday, June 25th at 7:30pm and Sunday, June 26th at 5:00pm.

Tickets are $12.