Performed at The Pearl Company
Review by: Tom Mackan
This production is at The Pearl Co., dear Readers, a bit of stretch away from the Fringe regular, but really, if you know where King William Street is just keep going east until Steven Street interrupts your flow and lo, that building in your way is The Pearl Co! And inside is where you’ll find RiderGirl running, in the upstairs space with all its cozy, welcoming comfort, and inexpensive coffee and delicious pastries to enjoy while you’re waiting. And my friends the wait is so well worth it!
Actor Colleen Sutton brings her beloved Saskatchewan Rough Riders to Hamilton Fringe…. all twelve of them, over nearly two decades of them, and along to cheer them is the l3th player, what the Rider fans like to call themselves, for when they’re in the stands in Regina they’re on that field in spirit as one more player, handing off, passing, blocking, running, tackling and SCORING! Words are too inadequate to convey what you will experience in the rush of the hour and a bit you’ll spend with actor Sutton. This creation of a one-woman show gives the genre its raison d’etre (French, eh, guys?), its essentials. She’s everything with the confidence and clarity of her superb talent, as actor (literally), daughter, struggling artist, friend of Bill (spoiler avoidance here), and above all else, a Rider fan and of course, the 13th player (with another spoiler temptation to avoid here). She’s just, well simply put, just great! She’ll stir you, move you, excite you. We, her audience, roared along with the crowd and slipped into stunned silence when the ball of her life was dropped, rose with inspired tears when the interception was made, or when a kick made the extra point. Rider football will invade your life for an hour and a bit. Experience it.
And mammoth praise to her Director and co-conceptualizers Irwin and Tim Wynne Jones, Stage Manager Hilary Nichol (Lindsay), the intricate and commanding sound design of Jon Carter, along with Nichol, Irwin and Sutton for Lighting, Set, and Costumes.
RiderGirl has ridden into Hamilton Fringe and you owe it to your entertainment dollar to make this Fringe gem a must-see on your list. Do it. The Pearl Company where Steven Street interrupts King William Street not far from where you are. Tell them I sent you.