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Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Fringe Festival.

Fringe Review: Old Fart 2021

By Livia Belcea on June 19, 2021

Old Fart 2021
Created by Tim Bourgard
Produced by Theatre Praxis (London, Ontario)

60m | PG | Comedy | Storytelling

Old Fart 2021 is a sweet and lovable play, complete with a heart-tugging moral that reminds us that the time we share with our loved ones is life’s greatest treasure.

Tim Bourgard embodies an endearing, self aware and self-proclaimed “old fart” in this solo storytelling comedy about Tom, a senior who is reflecting on his past as he prepares to leave this world. This quirky play is packed with delightful humour about growing older and meets the quota of permissible dad—or granddad—jokes one can say in 60 minutes, but it also addresses serious social, physical and psychological aspects of ageing such as elder abuse, dementia, and loneliness.

This quirky play is packed with delightful humour about growing older and meets the quota of permissible dad—or granddad—jokes one can say in 60 minutes.

From the limitations of the ageing body to the pain of seeing all your loved ones disappear, to the isolation seniors feel due to generational gaps or simply because they live alone or far from their families, Old Fart 2021 tactfully weaves difficult elements into a cheerful and relatable narrative through family-friendly humour, anecdotes and song.

But while Tim Bourgard’s charming demeanour and his raw and honest outlook on ageing are strengths in his performance, the musical segments distract from an otherwise compelling story. The song and banjo interludes seem to want to bridge the different parts of the play together, but I think that a deeper exploration of Tom’s relationships and experiences would have a more meaningful impact. Furthermore, as the play is offered in a virtual format, the issue with the music interludes is exacerbated by poor editing, and parts of the play cut too sharply and too soon. I suppose there is an irony in this as the technological challenges that seniors face is in fact one of the elements addressed in the play, but overall, this was a distracting detail that could have been avoided.


Old Fart 2021 is screening at the Ottawa Fringe Festival until June 27, 2021. Tickets are pick-your-price from $12.50 to $47.50 (100% of which goes to the artists) plus a $2.50 surcharge. Visit ottawafringe.com for streaming information and the complete festival lineup. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe. Shows are on-demand, however the festival’s ticketing platform can take up to 12 hours to email the streaming link. So although there’s no risk of online shows selling out, your best bet is to buy tickets early!