“All’s Faire” by Know Theatre: Silly Fun for Your Family
By Liz Eichler and Maeve Rice
Know Theatreâ€™s production of Alexx Rouse and Zach Robinsonâ€™s â€œAllâ€™s Faireâ€ is a welcome entertainment for the whole family! A bit of Renaissance Festival humor, music, a love story, pirates, dad jokes, puppets and crime! Your whole group will smileâ€”from tweens to grandpas. Thereâ€™s two live shows left, but soon it will be streaming at knowtheatre.com.
First, it is great to be outside at live theatre. Audience interaction made us remember the Before Timesâ€”and how much we miss shared experiences and spaces. This is a great, safe reintroduction: you bring your chair, mask if desired, and socially distance in the space. Audiences are small on purposeâ€”and this show was sold out!
Second, it is, well, silly and fun. The energy of the performers is catching. You are welcomed to a â€œRen Fest.â€ Detectives have been called to investigate a string of robberies threatening to close down the Faire. The cast includes Jordan Trovillion as the serious head detective, Johnson. Andrew Ian Adams is her partner Josh, quite the opposite type of detective. Brianna Bernard is Glethian (an Elf) and James Creque is The Bard, both Renaissance Festival performers (among other roles). Brianna and James are also the main puppet â€œhandlersâ€ and do what great puppeteers doâ€”blend into the background and make the puppet the star of that scene. Creque as the winking Bard has the most fun with the audience and he is quick-witted with a great voice.
The clever music and lyrics by James Allen elevated the showâ€”youâ€™ll be humming them (wherever you â€œaa-arrrhâ€).
Third, the production is simple and clearly designed to tour. It is also the appropriate lengthâ€”not too long, not too short for the varied audience and varied seating arrangements. (If anything, our group would love a longer audience participation encore!) Costumes (Noelle Wedig-Johnston) and simple backdrop and props (Kayla Williams) and Puppet Designers (Noelle Wedig-Johnston and Zach Johnston) are spot on and often underline or add to the hilarity.
â€œAllâ€™s Faireâ€ is the product of Serialsâ€”Knowâ€™s creative playwrighting series which pits original work against each other, with the best rising to the top over a series of weeks. According to Tamara Winters, Associate Artistic Director of Know Theatre, it was originally written for a much larger cast. This version has pared it down to four performers and puppets, which makes it easier to produce. I hope the creative group keeps marketing this piece; it has strong universal appeal. And Kudos to Know for continuing to host Serials, even Zooming through the pandemic, ensuring creatives always have a place to play.
You can see it LIVE Saturday August 7 at The Carnegie, and Sunday August 8 at Kennedy Heights. Tickets are available at knowtheatre.com. It will also be available soon streaming on the website.