Art by Dave Pruden

It is Saturday morning and I’ve finally found some time to write a quick update. It has been a hectic few first days at the Winnipeg Fringe. Trying to see and review shows, upload the reviews from the public and our team of reviewers to the website, and shake out some of the rust and bugs has put me a bit behind schedule. So this will be a pretty short update. Thankfully Dave Pruden is back with his wonderful cartoons to make this website more visually appealing. Amazingly we have over 30 reviews already posted.

Apostrophes, Ampersands, Commas and other shady characters—Another side effect of being away for a couple years was remembering how all the back end of the website worked. I had set up the website last Fringe to include the convenient list of shows that were reviewed and those which had Shameless Self-Promotions. I had made those links go to a summary page that included the details from our online program guide to make it easy to see all the details of the show. Unfortunately, our content management system seems to not handle the aforementioned characters very well when they appear in show titles. By some stroke of bad luck a large number of the first set of reviews all had one of those troublemakers in the titles, so there may be a few bugs when you click those links. I hope to have that sorted out in the next day or so.

Tiny Screens, a Little Different—We had also tried to improve the look of the website for those viewing the site on mobile devices. The navigation still isn’t ideal and it appears I need to limit the search to this year’s content, but it should be more functional than the last Fringe.

Other Observations—The new venues on the 2nd Floor of Portage Place (The Fountain and The Clock Tower) are pretty good, the Fringe did a fine job of setting up risers for seating. With all the changes to Old Market Square, one beef I have heard about is the lack of the “Big Show Board” at Info Tent. It was nice to have a central location for people walking through Old Market Square to see what shows were next on the schedule and if there were still seats available for them. It would be good to bring this back.

A big thanks to those who have sent in reviews, please keep them coming. If you thought one of our reviews missed the mark on a show you have seen, please send us in your thoughts. Also we are still accepting Shameless Self-Promotion from any company that hasn’t sent one in yet. Happy Fringing!

Murray Hunter