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The cast of 'Pack Animals'. Photo: Brynne Carra.

Fringe Review: Pack Animals

By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier on June 16, 2019


Pack Animals
by Holly M Brinkman & S.E. Grummett
60min / 14+ / Clown / Comedy

The description of this Fringe show, brought to us from the West Coast, asks: “Ever been to summer camp? Took a shit in the woods and wiped using pages from your guidebook? Speared the patriarchy on a hot dog stick and toasted it over a roaring fire?”

Well, even if you’ve never been to camp, go to this one! You’ll laugh, maybe you’ll cry, and you’ll learn some handy new campfire songs such as “Mansplain Me” along the way.

When a Beaver and a Woodpecker get lost from their perspective camps in the woods, though they are almost complete opposites, they must come together to survive the wilderness and find their way home. With one knowing every survival tip in the book and the other not even able to light a match – this is a comedy duo set-up to pull in lots of laughs.

With quick pacing and epic one-liners there’s never a dull moment.

This 60-minute show packs a lot in, and has plenty of audience interaction. From the very opening moments the two comediennes had the audience giggling and then into fits of laughter. With an array of props, puppets, and fantastic costumes, Brinkman and Grummett took the audience on a wild romp in the woods complete with sing-alongs, handy nature tips, and tongue-in-cheek clever humour. The deceptively simple staging is transformed throughout the show as various things come into play in the story.

With some cameos by a very oddly moustached audience member, a bear attack and some appearances by magical fairies, this show will keep you on your toes and spark uncontrollable belly laughter from start to finish. With quick pacing and epic one-liners there’s never a dull moment.

Underneath everything, telling a story of love, friendship and equality Pack Animals is definitely more than meets the eye.

With plenty of patriarchy being unpacked, Brinkman and Grummet had audience members all across the gender spectrum laughing as no subject seemed untouchable. All under the guise of the seemingly stock story of two would-be young campers getting lost in the woods, humour and song are used to shed light on modern day issues of feminism, patriarchy, gender as a construct and dating, among other topics.

Be sure to get your s’mores ready, as surely when word gets out there won’t be any more logs left to sit on at this campfire.

Pack Animals by Holly M Brinkman and S. E. Grummett is playing at LabO (10 Daly Ave) until Saturday June 22, 2019. Tickets cost $12 online (plus a $2 processing fee) and at the door. Visit for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at