4.5 / 5 Stars
More than once during a viewing of The Spark: A Hero Takes Charge I wondered how the cast kept from breaking out into laughter.
The crowd certainly had no hesitation cracking up non-stop throughout this superhero spoof that brought back memories of Batman.
Accidental Humour Co. is a favourite at the Edmonton Fringe creating original, multi-media, action packed satires and farces. What sets them apart from most other companies is their flawless approach to blending live theatre with pre-recorded film sequences.
Real time actors on stage interact with pre-recorded film scenes. But the genuine skill and timing takes place as performers exit the stage and immediately appear on a screen or vice versa.
The Spark has a delightful cartoonish patina, and by incorporating a film technique the 65-minute production evokes a cinematic quality that would be impossible to achieve otherwise.
In The Spark, the mild-mannered Maddy Martin (Jayce McKenzie), a research engineer working for AMP ELECTRC, aims to make her mark with her latest project. However, in a freakish accident (what other kind is there in superhero tales) she develops the power of telekinesis.
Three other characters help trigger additional destruction: Henri (Willie Banfield), a brown-nosing, credit-stealing boss; AMP CEO (Samara Von Rad), a ruthless titan of industry, and Mr. Baker (Cody Porter), an overly cautious janitor.
Not only does the plucky Maddy have a dual identity, but there is also more than meets the eye to the others. As revelations slowly peel away, tensions rise and beautifully choreographed ninja-style fight scenes make a stand.
Kudos to former St. Albert actor Cliff Kelly for guiding this mash-up into a polished production.
As an aside, Neil LeGrandeur, the Arden Theatre’s professional programming presenter and a company core member, makes a cameo appearance.
For a show that powers your funny bone, check out The Spark.
~Anna Borowiecki of The St. Albert Gazette
As a mash up of silver screen and stage performance, a young lady’s life changes forever when her dear father dies in a crash. The rest is a fresh retelling of our favourite hero tales—only this time the hero is a bit more of an onlooker than they had hoped. The smartest girl in town gets a chance to be the real hero, as she learns the harsh lessons of life. Perfectly timed props fly through the air on what appears to be magic, and the filmed parts time out perfectly with the live actions. The performance is original and genuinely funny—featuring jokes that are well thought out and obviously written by a team of professionals. Accidental Humour Co. and Transcendent Café [sic] have made a production worth seeing.
~Talis Hardy of Vue Magazine
Anytime I see Accidental Humor Co in the Fringe program, I automatically buy tickets to their show. I don’t even read the description of the play; I just know it will be amazing. The Spark did not disappoint! I loved every minute of it. The subtle jokes, especially on the pre-filmed bits, were spot on! Hands down my favourite I’ve seen thus far!
~Crystal Thompson (via EdmontonFringe.ca)
I’ve watched it from the second row on the floor AND the second row in the balcony. Another winner from Accidental Humour!
~Betty Feniak (via Facebook)
Bonecrusher…terrible name, fantastic character in “The Spark” by Jeremy Mason. If you are at the Edmonton Fringe be sure to see this show at The Garneau Theatre! It’s a production by Accidental Humour Co. and they never disappoint!
~Ben Price (via Facebook)
Their shows are always tremendous fun! I highly recommend checking them out.
~Kim L Stirling (via Facebook)
OK, I’ll grant that my parents wouldn’t appreciate Spark, but I do and I’m pretty sure my nieces and nephews will too. Accidental Humour’s 2017 Fringe production is a parody on the superhero comic genre, with Sterling-award winner Jayce McKenzie channeling the awkward but charming geek girl in the title role (I said it’s a parody — expect stock characters brilliantly executed). It’s done with their usual well directed and delightfully funny combination of original script, soundtrack and video as well as great acting. They’re back in the Garneau theatre, which means all the seats are great and the stage is big enough for their techno-comedy vision. Love it. Definitely worth seeing at least once…
~Gunnar Blodgett (via Facebook)