The Next Stage Theatre Festival returns in January 2018 with a lineup of ten companies showcasing a cross-section of exciting indie performance community. With many familiar faces from past Fringe Festivals, the 2018 programming is a true representation of the ‘best of the fest’. The festival will take over Factory Theatre from January 3 to 14, 2018.

The 2018 lineup gives new life to many hit shows and the artists behind them from the 2017 Toronto Fringe. Internationally-renowned comedy troupe and Fringe favourite Sex T-Rex presents their swashbuckling fantasy SwordPlay: A Play of Swords, fresh off their sold out run of their site-specific show, Bendy Sign Tavern.

Fringe veterans Martin Dockery and Vanessa Quesnelle perform romantic two-hander Moonlight After Midnight.

SaMel Tanz, the hot, new Toronto dance collective, brings back that F word (previously The “F” Word), a movement-based exploration of what it means to be female.

And stand-up comedian Franco Nguyen gives us a second chance to see Good Morning, Viet Mom (previously soaring in liquid skies) after selling out his performances during our summer festival.

The festival also welcomes back talent of past Next Stage hits, including Paul Van Dyck (Blood Wild, 2016), director of Jonno, a dark comedy about a famous radio personality; Matt Murray (Myth of the Ostrich, 2015), bookwriter of the new Canadian musical Rumspringa Break!; and Stephen Gallagher (Myth of the Ostrich, 2015), director of the emotional drama Birthday Balloon, set in modern-day Newfoundland.

Audiences can laugh away the January blues with The Harold Experience, a rarely performed long-form improv showcase by The Assembly, featuring a rotating roster of Toronto’s best improvisers. Izad Etemadi will bring his alter-ego Leila, the sassy, bearded, hijab-wearing superstar to life in Leila Live!, a new cabaret. And finally, Christel Bartelse’s The Surprise will ask patrons to help plan a surprise party for a mystery guest in her solo clown show.

Advance tickets and passes available as of November 27, 2017 by visiting www.fringetoronto.com or by phone at 416-966-1062.

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