We are all star dust.

Former Londoner Valerie Cotic’s new Fringe show, Orbituary, is described as “an obituary for romances, supernovas, and the fear of death itself.” I spoke with Valerie about how this personal tale evolved into an item on this year’s Fringe menu.

What is your show about?

Change – trying to accept it, the cyclical nature it has. The evolution of the relationship between two women parallels the evolution of a star. Alongside this, I unpack my fear of death through storytelling. It’s funny and vulnerable and sweet and maybe a tiny bit dark.

What drew you to the London Fringe Festival?

London is my hometown and where I lived until quite recently. It was also the first Fringe I was part of (A Beautiful View in 2013) so I have a bit of a soft spot for it. I think it’s a good festival to try out new work.

Photo by Jim Kost

What should audience members expect to take away from your show?

I feel like everyone experiences theatre/performance/art differently depending on their relationship with the subject of the piece. With Orbituary there will be some laughs, a bit of existential dread, perhaps catharsis – especially if someone has similar feelings about mortality as I do – or I hope some exploration of one’s own feelings around it (and endings in general).

Why did you choose this subject to explore?

The past year was one of a lot of significant change for me, so that theme was a bit inescapable. Accepting and adapting to big changes was what a lot of my mental energy was going toward when I started writing Orbituary. I also liked the idea of taking something distant and impersonal – like a cosmic event – and making it a relatable story by presenting it as complementary to something intimate and personal – like a romance. As for the storytelling aspect, I had been writing about death previously just as a way to try to explore my anxiety around that subject. As I was talking about these two different ideas with a seasoned solo performer, he pointed out that they both explore the idea of endings and change making room for new potential. So that’s how all these things ended up being one show.

When and where is your show going on?

Venue #2 – The Arts Project (203 Dundas)

Thursday, June 1, 2017 – 5:30pm
Saturday, June 3, 2017 – 7:00pm
Sunday, June 4, 2017 – 7:30pm
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 – 9:30pm
Friday, June 9, 2017 – 6:30pm
Saturday, June 10, 2017 – 4:00pm

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

Probably not even buy one, those things are like four bucks.

What was your last Tweet?

“Canadian content by a content Canadian.”

Take us through your morning routine in as much detail as possible.

Depends on the morning.

Do you think that the postmodern condition of cynicism towards metanarratives is itself a metanarrative?

Will this be on the test?

What Fringe shows are you excited for this year?

Bella Culpa, because I’d heard great things about it from folks on the touring circuit last year. The Merkin Sisters, which I saw a preview on in a Cabaret and it looks weird as heck. I’ve got some pals debuting new pieces – I Sound Like Mom and My Planet & Me are both first-time self-written solo shows, like mine is. What I’m really excited about the shows I don’t even know I’m excited about yet – I’ve seen some pretty fantastic work at past festivals by just taking a chance on something I knew nothing about.

Want to know more about this little gem? Check out the site right here. And while you’re perusing, don’t miss Fuse’s Fringe coverage featuring interviews with different participating artists during every day of the festival!

For showtimes check out the Fringe schedule right here and don’t forget to grab those tickets!

Feature photo by Jeff Leard


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