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FRINGE REVIEW: Glorious Justice!

St. Albert's Carla Ayles (far left) is one of the dragon heads who battles the Frost Giants in Glorious Justice running at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival until Aug. 27.

Glorious Justice! 

The Sanctuary Stage at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 

4 Stars 

Glorious Justice is a true mythic tale where good vanquishes evil. Judging by the crowd’s repeated cheers, the libretto, original lyrics and choreography are a hit. Combining classic rock opera with power metal guitar riffs, three-headed dragon harmonies and heroic Nordic battles, it is the stuff of legends.  

The one-hour rock opera has a majestic opening overture before it sweeps into a fight for freedom after a tyrannical three-headed dragon queen has enslaved humanity. Following years of hard labour in the mines enduring starvation and thirst to appease the dragon, a sage urges his grandson, Read Stormborn, to revolt. 

The dragon kills the sage and Stormborn a young slave, ashamed of his cowardly actions in failing to assist the revolutionary efforts, travels deep in the mines where he awakens Frost Giants and discovers a horn that will vanquish all intruders. 

The five-piece core band assembled with guitar, drums, bass, cello and horns have a strong groove that captures a fresh edge. It is at once electric and textured while creating many moods of tragedy that gradually build to victory.  

Baritone Read Fenton as Stormborn is a commanding presence and his energy never lets up despite being on stage for about 90 per cent of time. St. Albert’s Carla Ayles is one of the red fiery dragon heads who curses humanity and has little trouble turning them to ashes. And St. Albert musician, Caitlin Laslop, brandishes her cello with seething delight. 

Swooping dragons, sword fights and the final incendiary battle are delights to watch. However, in a world of disappearing freedoms, the underlying message warning humanity of evil’s pitfalls needs to be heeded. 

– Anna Borowiecki 

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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