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Monday, June 17, 2024

Primal delivers the Fringe

Primal is the only Fringe show that comes to you.

The Unnatural Disaster Theatre Company brings theatre to your doorstep with Primal, the devised theatre piece exploring labour injustice and the human cost of convenience from purchasing online.

Primal is a powerfully tragicomic theatre experience that will leave audiences considering the human cost of convenience when we order online.

We learn more in this Q&A with Primal‘s creative collaborator, director and producer, Logan Robins.

Primal can be ordered for delivery from September 6-9. Visit for tickets, dates and times.

This interview has been edited.

Tell us about Primal. What can audiences expect?

The team behind Primal is ecstatic to be bringing the experience back after a successful round of home-delivered performances this past spring as part of the Mayworks festival. An experience like no other, audience members will receive short 10-minute site-specific performances brought directly to them.

Audiences should expect to be blown away by the flexibility, creativity, and talent our creative team has brought to the table for this show. Primal is a boldly original devised theatre piece that audiences can experience, delivered right to their door, yard, street or even nearby park. There are puppets and pirates, androids and allyship, factory towns, tornados, musical numbers, and everything in between.

Primal is a powerfully tragicomic theatre experience that will leave audiences considering the human cost of convenience when we order online.

What was the inspiration for Primal?

I was shocked upon hearing the news in December of 2021 that a tornado had torn through an Amazon factory in Illinois and killed six of the workers inside. This horrific event prompted me to more deeply explore the chain of events that could have led to it, how it could have been prevented, and how much of society’s dependence on online shopping is fuelling so many shapes of worker suffering.

I began to think about necessity, convenience, and the value of human life. From this spark, the concept of Primal was ignited as a way to explore some of these ideas through a performance that could be delivered just as quickly as the company we are holding in question.

Why this particular show now?

It has never been easier to choose ignorance than it is today. We are constantly bombarded by messages, sound, and colour and have been forced to choose what we tune out for our well-being, even if it is important. Primal is incredibly relevant today because society has become increasingly comfortable turning a blind eye to the cost of material lifestyles.

The decision behind bringing a Fringe show to people’s homes this year is twofold. On the one hand, we are always seeking ways to make theatre more accessible and to help those less familiar with theatre feel more comfortable in a live performance setting. By bringing short performances to front doors, backyards, lawns, porches, stoops, etc., we can share the magic of theatre in a place where the audience hopefully feels comfortable enough to enjoy and open enough to be moved by the show. This format also allows for enhanced Covid safety.

On the other hand, we were interested in examining the very system we are exploring- that of instant delivery. By ordering online and having us arrive at their homes, we have made this a theatrical experience that can be ‘taken in’ exactly as one would a parcel from Amazon.

What do you hope audiences leave Primal talking about?

I hope audiences will leave this experience talking about how they saw themselves or people they know reflected in the characters, the stories, and the hardships we share with them. Opening your front door to professional live theatre is also a unique and wonderful experience that we anticipate audience members will talk about for a long time.

Why should someone come to see Primal?

Nobody needs to come to see our show. We will come to you.

You can order a short performance to your door September 6-9th, and all tickets are pay-what-you-can, no matter the location or the size of your group.

This show is untraditional and unlike any other Fringe experience this year. We hope to deliver to you soon, and please feel free to connect with us on social media or email if you have any questions, concerns, or accessibility requests.

Primal can be ordered for delivery from September 6-9. Visit for tickets, dates and times.

The Halifax Fringe Festival returns to live in-person performances from September 1 through September 11, with more than 55 productions taking place at venues across the downtown and North End neighbourhoods.

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