Redheaded Stepchild

Coming soon to the Edmonton Fringe!

Nicholas is a twelve-year-old with red hair whose dad just remarried. This makes Nicholas a redheaded stepchild. Literally. And tomorrow at lunch, the biggest boy in grade six plans to beat him up—he even made a Facebook event about it.
Should Nicholas skip school, even if it means missing the chance to audition for the class play (and to impress his English teacher, Mr. Barton)? His new stepmom, a chain-smoking, ex-Jehovah’s Witness golf pro named Mary-Anne doesn’t want him playing hooky. His secret alter ego, the fabulous and charismatic Rufus Vermilion, thinks his ginger genetics will doom him either way. But when events in the schoolyard leave both Mary-Anne and Rufus speechless, it’s up to Nicholas himself to pick up the pieces and do some serious growing up.
Written & Performed by Johnnie Walker
Directed by Morgan Norwich
Designed by Stephanie Avery
Previously performed at: Uno FestSummerWorksWinnipeg FringeCalgary FringeEdmonton FringeVictoria FringeUnited SoloToronto FringeQueer Acts Theatre Festival


  • Best of Fest, Winnipeg Fringe
  • Jenny Award, Winnipeg Fringe
  • Emerging Artist Award, SummerWorks
  • Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performance (NOW Magazine)


“The most charming theatrical pre-teen since a troubled girl named Claudia.” – NOW Magazine (NNNNN)

“In an hour that speeds by, Walker’s gusto and laugh-out-loud delivery pulls you into the world of a kid who lives in the margins of pubescence. It takes mere moments to really care about Nicholas and his curse of the recessive red-haired gene. This story is for the redheaded stepchild in all of us — that part that doesn’t fit in.” – CBC (★★★★★)

“An insightful, funny, uncannily-performed coming-of-age solo show… You may be a carrot top, but your show is a big flaming winner.”  – Edmonton Journal (★★★★1/2)

“Clever, bitingly funny, and insightful… Its message of hope and empowerment resonates long after leaving the theatre.” – The Chronicle Herald

“Beautifully captures the confusion and angst of adolescence… Highly recommended.” – The Coast

“Walker is a deft performer with brilliant comedic timing and an excellent writer with a knack for observational humour—but it’s the heart he brings to both that makes this show a stand-out. Don’t miss it.” – Uptown Magazine (★★★★★)

“Strong writing, confident performing, deft direction (by Morgan Norwich), dazzling transitions and a willingness to be a little fearless and honest onstage… Hits it out of the park.” – Calgary Herald (★★★★★)

“Believe the hype: Johnnie Walker’s acclaimed solo is as good as you’ve heard. In his canny comedy about growing up precocious, gay and ginger, the engaging Walker handles some heavy subjects—bullying, stereotyping—with the lightest touch. Prepare for a lot of laughs and just the tiniest lump in your throat.” – Martin Morrow