Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 – ‘Tween Earth and Sky
Review by Kelly J Clark – Showbill.ca Managing Editor
August 28, 2017
Irish folklore is a fickle beast: convoluted and complex in the hands of an ametuer, but full of wonder in the hands of a master. Thank the saints that Mark Lyon is the latter. Lyon spins four Irish yarns, each of gathering complexity and tone, building up to a final tale whose announcement caused members of the crowd in the know fill the room with gratified cheers. Suddenly, the room was cast in a new light and the audience was now children, sitting around the fire to hear stories of the old country from their wise and eccentric sprite of a grandfather. It was a simultaneously an unnerving and magical experience.
The tales themselves are classics and need no introduction or foreknowledge. Lyon has a lot of ground to cover in his sixty minute show–so much, in fact, that during his character heavy pieces he has a habit of blurring voices and mannerisms. One gets the feeling that he’s used to having longer, more luxurious performances where he can let his stories slowly unfold for the audience’s delight. It’s a gentle criticism of an accomplished performer.
If anything, Lyons deserves a larger venue with more seats and darker shadows. The lighting cues at scene changes or tonal shifts were at times distracting, but during his middle two stories the twilight they cast gave his tales an atmosphere heady with mystery and magic.
If you’re a fan of folktales and a bit of Irish charm, look no further than ‘Tween Earth and Sky.
Created by Mark Lyon
Victoria Fringe Festival
Venue 6 (Fairfield Hall)
- Aug 28 @ 7:45pm
- Sept 2 @ 6:00pm
- Sept 3 @ 2:00pm