For those who don't know what a fringe festival is, it's alternative theater or entertainment that is not part of the mainstream. So you will see some wacky and far-out theatrical events being put on.
One such event that is attracting worldwide attention is Hollywood Hen Pit currently playing at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Written and starring Ian Mozdzen (seen above) it chronicles the life of a factious aging Hollywood starlet. It features two nude men exploring media exploitation and the mainstream perceptions of art. Throughout the performance there is graphic language and simulated sex. But that is not what is causing the controversy. Acted out on stage are live enemas and defecation using mayonnaise. Not once or twice, but a total of three times. One reviewer felt the enema scenes where used to point out violent sexual acts in the media. And how mass culture fetish dark issues.
Not surprisingly there have been walkouts by the audience. But other theatergoers have embraced this type of performance art as cutting edge. Organizers of the Winnipeg Fringe Festival have defended the play as free speech. But since the brouhaha a number of changes have taken place. Sex on-stage is illegal in Winnipeg, even if it is just simulated. So the oral sex scene has been dropped. In addition an age restriction of 18 is now required to see the show.
With all the publicity about this play, the police have (so far) received no complaints. The two stars discuss the controversy at the video below.