A Q&A with Kevin McKendrick and Lindsey Angell about BUTCHER

A Q&A with Kevin McKendrick and Lindsey Angell about BUTCHER

Butcher, an edge-of-your-seat thriller from award-winning Canadian playwright, Nicolas Billon, opens March 21 at the Historic Theatre, and runs until March 31.

Early Christmas morning, on the doorsteps of a Toronto police station, Inspector Lamb discovers an unlikely bundle; a drugged and abandoned old man, who doesn’t speak any English, dressed in a strange military uniform. Atop his head a Santa hat, and around his neck a business card impaled on a butchers hook with the words, “Arrest me,” scrawled on it. Inspector Lamb begins an investigation into the identity of the stranger that will forever tie together the lives of four people: a lawyer, a translator, the stranger and the inspector.


We connected with Director, Kevin Mckendrick, and performer, Lindsey Angell, to ask them a few questions about bringing the hit show to The Cultch stage.

What excites you most about bringing Butcher to The Cultch stage?

Lindsey — Butcher has managed to get under my skin and I think it will truly draw our audiences in as well. It is deceptive and sneaky and even oddly charming at times, but be careful, you might get *hooked*…hehehe.

The Cultch has partnered with Amnesty International as a Community Partner for Butcher. Our Community Partners offer us the opportunity to spread the word about important issues at the same time as helping us spread the word about our shows. Knowing what you do about Amnesty International, do you feel that it is a good fit? Why?

Kevin — I think it’s an excellent partnership because Amnesty International wrestles with the issues in Butcher every single day. In her forward to the play Louise Arbour, a former Supreme Court of Canada justice, and former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda said, “When can victims find peace when justice is elusive?” and  “Can offenders find closure if punishment is not extended to them?” Are these not huge questions for our time? Real peace and closure, it is often said, can only come from forgiveness. It falls to organizations like A.I to help us find our way through these tangled questions.

Why do you think Butcher has hit such a chord across Canada since its debut?

Lindsey — Butcher is brave. It does not choose sides or lead its audience in any way. That kind of experience in live theatre is rare and exhilarating.

In an ideal world, what would you like audiences to take away with them after seeing Butcher?

Kevin — One of my mentors, the playwright  John Murrell, impressed upon me the idea that theatre must be provocative, yet entertaining. It’s a maxim I try to apply to every play I work on. I want audiences leaving Butcher at The Cultch to feel we exceeded their expectations. I want them to be  thrilled and moved by the experience. To be glad they left the comfort of their home to take in a play. And I want them to leave the theatre arguing about the themes of justice and revenge. The best theatre serves to help us strengthen our society by spurring us to make changes.

You have put together an all-star cast of performers and creators for this production. Lindsey, what do you think Butcher offers actors that other plays may not?

Lindsey — Butcher is unlike any show I have done before. I have spoken in dialects and even other languages but never have I been given the gift of learning an invented language (playwright, Nicolas Billon, had two linquistics professors from the University of Toronto invent the language of ‘Lavinian’ specifically for this play). This story is incredibly mysterious and the characters are fighting fiercely for what they need, creating a tension I have yet to experience on stage. That’s about all I can say without spilling any spoilers.

Butcher has some very serious themes — justice, revenge, forgiveness — Have there been many discussions during rehearsals? Do you think it will stir up debate with audiences?

Lindsey — Of course! We have turned this play over and over, hashing out the ideas and the arc of the story. It is our hope that the audience will discuss the piece passionately afterwards, not only the themes but their own personal response to the ride.

Is there anything else about putting on Butcher that you would like to say a few words about?

Kevin — I have been so fortunate to have this opportunity. To work on this fine Canadian play with this outstanding team of collaborators. And it is very gratifying to us to have The Cultch recognize the importance of Nicolas Billon’s play and afford us the opportunity to share it with Vancouver audiences.

Thank you Kevin and Lindsey!

To read more about Butcher check out this great article from the Vancouver Sun, a Q&A with Peter Anderson.

Butcher runs March 20-31 at the Historic Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Written by: Nicolas Billon

Starring: Peter Anderson, Lindsey Angell, Noel Johansen, and Daryl Shuttleworth

Director: Kevin McKendrick

Artistic Associate: Christy Webb, Set Designer: David Roberts, Costume Designer: Jenifer Darbellay, Assistant Costume Designer: Alaia Hamer, Lighting Designer: Michael Hewitt, Original Music and Sound Design: Keith Thomas, Stage Manager: Joanne P.B. Smith, Makeup Consultant: Miss Nikki Ying, Student Apprentice: Leah Read

Official Website: www.butcherplay.com 

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Jodi Sprackman with the Rosedale on Robson

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Jodi Sprackman with the Rosedale on Robson

Can you tell us how the Rosedale on Robson first got involved with The Cultch?

Our long-standing partnership with The Cultch began in 2001 when we were approached to discuss accommodating your artists during the theatre season. This is our 17th year as a hotel sponsor, and we still love welcoming The Cultch’s artists to the Rosedale!

What has surprised you and your colleagues most about partnering with The Cultch?

The great relationships we’ve forged with many of the people who work at The Cultch.

Over the years there have been several artists who have made the Rosedale on Robson their home while touring shows to The Cultch.  Are there any highlights or memorable moments from meeting the artists?

Meeting Miriam Margolyes when she stayed with us in 2012 while performing in a one-woman show entitled Dickens Women. She is an award-winning actress and a long-time veteran of film, television and theatre. She was funny, outspoken and gracious (we chatted a few times during her stay), and made such an impression on us that we even changed our pool hours to accommodate her schedule (and we haven’t changed them back since!).

Jodi, can you tell us a bit more about what you do in your role as the Director of Community Relations?

I am responsible for all things community-related, with a primary focus on sponsorship agreements with various performing arts organizations. Accommodations are a big part of their budgetary requirements, and because we have the means to help out in this area, we do.

Because we’re an all-suite hotel that also happens to be located in the heart of the entertainment district, artists really enjoy staying with us. It’s an easy walk to a variety of theatres (and not too far a drive from The Cultch), and they love the convenience of having their own kitchen, especially after getting “home” after a late performance.  Working with theatre companies and festivals is a natural partnership that has flourished over the years.

How important do you think it is that the arts organizations continue to cultivate and sustain partnerships with corporate sponsors?

I think it’s crucial to create and foster these partnerships. The very nature of sponsorships focuses on building relationships where different organizations can help support one another. The reason we primarily focus on these organizations is because the arts are notoriously underfunded and are always in need of assistance from the community. The arts tend to be overlooked, and cultural events are often forced to be put on the back burner, having to be either scaled back or cancelled.

We believe that the arts are an integral part of our community as a whole, and partnering with various organizations helps foster the commitment the Rosedale has to the overall support and promotion of the arts in Vancouver. We’re committed to playing a part in helping to enrich our cultural community.

What are you curious about right now?

People. My kids say I’m nosy, but I’m really just interested (and maybe just a little bit nosy). Everyone has a story. I like learning about people and their lives.

As a registered Canadian charity, The Cultch relies on the support of the community to operate as a cultural hub; bringing diverse and engaging live performance to the stage.
Please consider making a donation today! Contact Natalie Schneck, Development Associate: natalie@thecultch.com; 604.251.1766 x.121
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001

Donor Spotlight: Jamie Evrard

Donor Spotlight with Jamie Evrard

Jamie, you have been long-time supporter of The Cultch.  Can you tell us how you first got involved with the organization?

I’ve been involved with the Cultch since 1978 when I moved to Vancouver and sold my weaving at the Circle Craft Christmas Market which was then held there. I’ve always been intrigued by and attended many of the Cultch’s offerings so when I realized I had enough money to begin giving back to Vancouver in some way the Cultch was an obvious choice.  It is a real community theatre and supports so many smaller local theatre groups as well as international performers. I went to a Peggy Baker show way back and I met a filmmaker/photographer, who asked me if he could photograph my hands for one of his projects. The Cultch is a place where this kind of connection can happen. It’s intimate and you’ll always talk to people.

What has surprised you most about working/partnering with The Cultch?

The fun of getting to know so many of the people who work at and give to the Cultch. Being able to attend special events and actually see works in progress and meet their creators.

You’ve built an admirable and remarkable career as a visual artist both in Canada and internationally. What do you find interesting about supporting the other artistic disciplines such as theatre and dance? 

I believe that a vibrant arts scene is essential for a great city so I’d like to help make Vancouver more exciting. Great theatre adds color to life, that can’t hurt!

Does seeing theatre and dance inform your own artistic work? 

You know I saw Jane Heyman’s version of “Three Sisters” by Chekhov in 2013, and I’m not saying that it informed my work directly, but there was something about that piece. Jane and I often talk about the creative process and one day she saw a painting hanging upside down in my studio and I confessed that I often work this way to be able to better see the shapes and forms I’m creating.  She told me sometime later that she was experimenting with rehearsing her theatre pieces starting at the end.

It’s hard to be an artist of any age, from being a small child to an older person. I think just seeing people making and performing art is inspiring in itself.  I like that you guys do risky work.

Can you tell us what you wish other people knew about The Cultch?

Giving to the Cultch is a great way to feel a part of artistic creation and giving money away is one of the most fun things you can do. Its fun to support artistic creation and it’s easier and more possible to become a donor then a lot of people think. The Cultch is a place you can make a difference, it is small enough so that every donation counts and it’s a cool community of vibrant artists.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating to The Cultch but hasn’t made the move yet? 

It is an exciting organization to be inside of.  The Cultch has lots of outreach programs for kids and people who would otherwise  not be able to attend theatre. Also, donor events , like the director’s circle receptions before shows are a lot of fun.

You have got a great aesthetic sensibility in many areas, Jamie (I love your style!) Can you tell us where you look to for inspiration?

I’m inspired by the work of other artists I see when I travel, and the work of local artists including many of those in Bau Xi Gallery. Also by solitary confinement and boredom—my time in Italy where life is simpler.  As Einstein said, “creativity is a residue of time wasted”.   You know last night, I came back from San Francisco and I had to go into the studio – I had to work. The phone rang and I didn’t answer.  Sometimes you gotta be ruthless to be creative.  These days we are offered all this free stuff on social media but really it takes away something of incredible value – our time—so I don’t do any of it.

What are you curious about?

People. I love hearing people’s stories and everybody has a story to tell if you ask which I often do.  Stories well told are universally engaging, and theatre is the best way to tell them.  And the Yucatán! My next trip.



Jamie Evrard’s Upcoming Exhibition:

Bau-Xi Gallery

March 3-17, 2018
3045 Granville Street, Vancouver

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 3, 2:00 – 4:00pm




As a registered Canadian charity, The Cultch relies on the support of the community to operate as a cultural hub; bringing diverse and engaging live performance to the stage.
Please consider making a donation today! Contact Natalie Schneck, Development Associate: natalie@thecultch.com; 604.251.1766 x.121
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001

Rave Reviews for Hot Brown Honey!

Rave Reviews for Hot Brown Honey!

Have you seen Hot Brown Honey yet? Audiences are going wild for this smash-hit from Australia!

Check out some of the amazing things Vancouver reviewers have had to say about it:

“Is it empowering, exuberant, rousing, fun? Hell, yes. It’s also the show that the world needs right now – has needed for some time, but man, the time is ripe for it” — Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

“Part hip hop concert, part pep rally, Hot Brown Honey is a loud, proud evening of consciousness raising; a series of lessons on race and gender that says you can have your revolution and dance to it, too” — Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Sun

Hot Brown Honey throws a female-powered dance party that’s well worth joining…What a party!” — Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

“With its mix of burlesque, circus, dance, beatboxing, and hip-hop, on the surface Hot Brown Honey is like a really great variety show. Layered with the politics of gender, race and colonialism though, it becomes so much more” — Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

Weave Image By Dylan Evans

Hot Brown Honey is more than a show, it is an embodiment of sexual liberation, a celebration of matriarchal ideas and a call to action for a better tomorrow through education and awareness of inherent societal privilege and racial divides. It’s not like anything you have ever seen” — Penny Warwick, Two Cents & Two Pence

Hot Brown Honey is visually mind-blowing with a whole load of talent on stage…There’s singing, dancing, rapping and costumes changes that leave your head swiveling”— Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

“Hot Brown Honey is a MUST SEE for EVERYONE… You will leave this show buzzing with energy and ready to rain fire on the patriarchy” — Maddison Miller, The Vancouver Arts Review

“If you enjoy shows that are sassy, sexy and have a social conscious this is definitely for you” — John Jane, Review Vancouver

“It’s raunchy, colourful, mind-boggling and fun” — Entertainment Vancouver

Hot Brown Honey runs at the York Theatre Jan 9-27. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Meet the Honeys!

Meet the Honeys!

Hot Brown Honey opens at the York Theatre January 10. This fierce patriarch-smashing show has been shaking things up on its #WorldPollinationTour, and the buzz is palpable. We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to the amazing women that will be taking over the York stage for most of January (Jan 9-27).

It’s time to get sticky!

Lisa Fa’alafi by Dylan Evans

(Creator | Writer | Director | Choreographer | Designer)
Definition: Innovator of an event, idea, or procedure that significantly alters in the
current way of doing or thinking. Shake’Em Up Woman. Defies the
Norm. Shifts the Paradigm. Rocks The Boat.

In The Words Of Dr Angela Davis:
‘You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world.
And you have to do it all the time.’

Ofa Fotu by Dylan Evans

Definition: Defeats a fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an
ideology. She slays. Staff Holder. Soothsayer. Smashes Stereotypes.

In The Words Of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that
they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.
They make one story become the only story.”

Hope Haami by Dylan Evans

HOPE HAAMI aka HOPE ONE (Beatboxer)
Definition: Advocates a joyful of mindset of positive outcomes for the world at
large via rhythmic beats made with the mouth. Music Maker.
Collaborator. Decolonise and Moisturise.

In The Words Of Maryann Talia Pau:
“We ARE light. We ARE love. And love, is everything.”

Crystal Stacey by Dylan Evans

Definition: She who brings about a sense of unity through truth. Poet. Mover.
Embodies the change she wants to see. Future Sculptor. Radical
Fierce Love.

In The Words Of Audre Lorde:
“We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.”

Elena Wangurra

Definition: Originator or pioneer that leads to/makes possible further growth. Risk
Taker. The Fierce Awakens. Makes Noise.

In The Words Of Dr Lilla Watson:
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because
your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Busty Beatz by Dylan Evans

Creator | Writer | Musical Director | Composer | Sound Designer
Definition: So Boss. Vessel for The Word of The Mother. Divine Feminine Power.
Hip Hop Wrath. Filled with joyous rage. Protector of the Hive.
Nurturer. See Matriarchy. Fights The Power.

In The Words Of Busty Beatz:
“Fighting The Power Never Tasted So Sweet.”


The Mother- The Hive- By Dylan Evans

Want a taste of the show? Meet the Honeys up close and personal in this live facebook interview with Vancouver Presents:

Live in the hive with the company of Hot Brown Honey

Hot Brown Honey runs at the York Theatre Jan 9-27. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Hot Brown Honey is heating up Manchester!

Hot Brown Honey is heating up Manchester!

We are getting so excited! Hot Brown Honey has begun their #WorldPollinationTour, and Vancouver is on the flight path! From Jan 9-27, these fierce females will be taking over the York Theatre with their fun, fabulous, and patriarch-smashing hit!

As we speak Hot Brown Honey is heating up Manchester. The reviews are buzzing in and they are GREAT! Take a look:

— Make Noise! —

Hair Image By Dylan Evans

★★★★★ “Unlike anything you will have seen before… Smoking hot. If fighting the power is this much fun, we should all get on board and rock the boat a little bit.” – Frankly My Dear

★★★★★ “Busty Beatz [and] Lisa Fa’alafi have created a truly ground-breaking production unlike anything you’ve ever seen before – but will definitely want to see again… An empowering must-see performance full of laughter, joy and truth that is entirely faultless.” – Upstaged Manchester

★★★★★“The Honeys force us on this side of the world to think about the impact of our colonial past that is still having an impact today, centuries after the first colonialists spread their poison across the Pacific region.” – North West End

★★★★★ “A triumph of a show… Fast-paced, sexy, hilarious, and the all-female cast are a seriously talented and fierce bunch… But it’s more than just good entertainment value, behind the glitz of the huge golden beehive and the sassy dance routines there’s an important message which seeks to confront and challenge our perceptions of racial stereotypes and sexism.” – Northern Soul

★★★★ “A brave, and thought-provoking show… If you fancy something a little different this festive season: a show with plenty of attitude and sass then Hot Brown Honey is the show for you.” – The Reviews Hub

“Fearless, resolute and downright entertaining… The women of Hot Brown Honey simultaneously raise the roof and your consciousness.” – Circles & Stalls

“The[se] luscious ladies leave the audience on their feet shaking their booties to some sweet tunes… It creates such a party atmosphere… A celebration… The exact type of excitement and energy that could begin a revolution.” – Culturebean

Hot Brown Honey is not trying to encourage or give space for reflection and debate, but rather to utterly subvert the patriarchal world view and to urge action. Subtlety is not the path to revolution.” – Unrestricted Views

“A flamboyant evening of cabaret entertainment… Fighting the power never tasted so sweet… Just brilliant, a complete blast from start to finish.” – The Greater Manchester Reviewer

Hot Brown Honey runs at the York Theatre Jan 9-27. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Vancouver is excited for East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves!

Vancouver is excited for East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves!

Ming Hudson plays Snow White in East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves. Photo by Tim Matheson

It’s almost here! Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves opens Friday, December 1 in the York Theatre! We can hardly wait!

Vancouver is buzzing with Panto fever! Check out some of the amazing press coverage to answer all of your Panto questions:

  • Have you ever wanted to know how Theatre Replacement decided to start doing the East Van Panto? 

“The whole thing came from wanting to make something our kids would want to watch,” say James Long. You can read more about it in his interview with Artslandia. 

  • Have you ever wondered how they come up with the quirky music?

In this Georgia Straight Interview, Veda Hille say, “It has to be a song everybody knows and loves; it has to fit in the right place in the arc of the piece; it has to have a good pun in the main title or chorus of the song that suits the script.”

Allan Zinyk plays the Queen in East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves. Photo by Tim Matheson

  • Have you ever wondered why it is so gosh darned hilarious to make fun of East Van?

“What is theatre but a mirror – a magic mirror on the wall, if you will…We go to the theatre to learn about ourselves and laugh at ourselves. When you have a place as unique and as interesting as East Vancouver, or Vancouver proper, there’s so much material there to draw upon.” Says Ming Hudson, in this Westender article. Hudson plays Snow White in this latest installment of East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves

“Snow White gets Panto treatment” – The Province

  • Have you ever wanted to know how they keep coming up with such great shows?

Writer, Mark Chavez, says, “…Anita and I are surrounded by very a very smart, creative group of people who all want to make this show as funny and ridiculous and beautiful as it can be.

You may have seen this article in either the The Vancouver Sun or The Province!

  • Or, have you ever wondered what the writer of the Panto’s dream job was as a child?

I think you might be surprised! Read all about it in this Vancouver Presents piece:

20 questions with Mark Chavez

Doesn’t that just wet your appetite for Panto fun!?


East Van Panto; Snow White & the Seven Dwarves runs from Nov 29 – Jan 6 at the York Theatre. Tickets are from $22 and can be found here.

A message from the creators of Hot Brown Honey:

A message from the creators of Hot Brown Honey:


The Arts have the capacity to shift culture.
We live in a culture that needs change urgently.
Not tomorrow. Right Here. Right Now. We stand in the Creative Revolution.

At the forefront we give Love and Respect to the First Nations People of this land.
We give Love and Respect to those who have come before us.

To the Game Changers
Myth Slayers
Poets, Movers
Music Makers
Ground Breakers
Truth Sayers
Shake em up Women
Queens, Queers and Risk Takers
We are the Change Creators.


We are the Latest Models of our Ancestry.
Our Stories. Our Voices. Our Bodies.
We will not apologise for who we are.

Photo credit: Dylan Evans

Hot Brown Honey give our Love and Respect to the Ancestral, Traditional and Sovereign Aboriginal territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, and in particular, the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh Nations on whose territory we perform.

In an act of Radical Fierce Love, we at Hot Brown Honey lay it on the table. We invite you into our world where we stand centre stage shining brightly for all to see. Too often we are portrayed as the savage, the maid, the victim, the perpetrator, but tonight we defy these labels. We ask you to celebrate with us.
Celebrate all that we are.

Our Truth. Our Courage. Our Complexities. Our Resilience. Join us as we take back our stories and explode the stereotypes that follow us. Together let us laugh at them, dismantle them and re-write them with open arms and middle finger raised.

We welcome you into a world where for a moment, where the paradigm shifts, where we strut as the Latest Models of Our Ancestry, where people cheer and dance, where hearts become open even when confronting truths that are painful.

Even when the lives reflected back may not be a shared experience. You might say well it’s just a 75min show. Maybe it is. Or maybe it’s a moment in time that can be harnessed to create ripples of change.
Some say art has the capacity to make change in the world, to shift culture, so for us this is our call – to dance, to shout, to laugh, to cry, to rise up and transform current conversations.

It will get sticky but we promise, it is totally worth it.

Welcome to the Hive. Welcome to Hot Brown Honey. We are here.


Hot Brown Honey runs at the York Theatre Jan 9-27. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Q&A with Governor General award-winning playwright, Colleen Murphy!

Q&A with Governor General award-winning playwright, Colleen Murphy!

Photo by Heidi Hamilton

How did the idea to adapt a Shakespearean text incorporating Bouffon come about?

When Stephen [Drover] asked me to write an adaptation of Titus Andronicus I wondered how to connect with a play I felt was emotionally vacant but intriguing.  “What makes people so angry they kill children?  What is under such rage? Terrible hurt probably, and terrible grief.”

While adapting the play I was the Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta, working in the same department as Professor Michael Kennard, aka Mump from the incredible duo Mump & Smoot.  Michael teaches clown there and I was inspired by the rigor and the fearlessness he used in his hilarious student presentations.  I felt that given the blood-bath of the 21st century, Bouffon were more suitable to my adaptation because they bring a primal urgency to a story that both begs to be taken seriously and begs not to be taken seriously.

Can you tell us a little bit about the effect that the Bouffon style has on the piece?

The Bouffon style opens up both the emotional and the farcical aspects that are already in Shakespeare’s play.  He must have enjoyed writing it, and there are some beautiful passages, as fine as any he wrote.  The murders and the outrage might even be funny…and the funny is sometimes sad.  The world of revenge is an over-the-top world driven by sad, angry people.

What is something about the show that audiences may be surprised to learn?

Perhaps members of the audience might be surprised to discover that nothing is sacred, that everything is human, including the worse things people do to each other.

Can you describe the show in 3 words?

Fun Meets Death.

What most excites you about bringing this piece to the stage?

Marrying Shakespeare with Bouffon offers another perspective on Titus Andronicus in the 21st century.

Peter Anderson in “The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius”. Photo by Stephen Drover

The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius runs from Nov 22 – Dec 3 at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $22 and can be found here.

Everything you never knew about Titus Bouffonius!

Photo of Peter Anderson by Tim Matheson

We’re getting excited about the world premiere of The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius, by Rumble Theatre opening on Nov 23.

This production is a brand-new play from Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Colleen Murphy and it’s a grotesque “bouffon” re-telling of Shakespeare’s most gruesome tragedy, Titus Andronicus.

Now, if you’re familiar with the original play, it won’t surprise you to learn that this version is also full of murder and other dastardly deeds.

Here’s a brief (tongue-in-cheek) synopsis of the play:

Pretty much sums it up!

About her play, Colleen Murphy says, “In the cack-up of the 21st century, clowns are more suitable to my adaptation of Titus Andronicus because they bring a primal urgency to a story that both begs to be taken seriously and begs not to be taken seriously. A bunch of poverty stricken clowns from the gutters acting out their grief and rage at the world; mocking everyone else at the same time”.

“Bouffon”  is a modern French theatre term that was re-coined in the early 1960s by Jacques Lecoq at his L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris to describe a specific style of performance work that has a main focus in the art of mockery.

“The difference between the clown and the bouffon is that while the clown is alone, the bouffon is part of a gang; while we make fun of the clown, the bouffon makes fun of us. At the heart of the bouffon is mockery pushed to the point of parody. The parody isn’t directly offensive with regard to the public; there is no deliberate intention to mock. Bouffons come from elsewhere.”- Jacques LeCoq

We can’t wait to see what Rumble is cooking up. It’s sure to be a provocative and boundary-pushing night at the theatre!

The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius runs from Nov 22 – Dec 3 at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $22 and can be found here.