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The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius

Rumble Theatre (Vancouver)

Nov 22 – Dec 3, 2017 | Historic Theatre [map link]

Historic Theatre

This presentation contains swearing, violence, & adult content. Recommended for ages 14+

–  A vulgar clown re-telling of Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy  –

The Society for the Destitute — five lumpy, stumpy performers on the fringe of civilization — decide to put on a contemporary version of Titus Andronicus, but as you might predict, this is not your average night of Shakespeare. They sometimes forget their lines, say what they want to, or refuse to stay dead when they are killed. And as only clowns are able, they turn the tables on us, the audience, and present us with our own foibles in a way that is both hilarious and inevasible. The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius is an inspired marriage of Shakespearian text, contemporary dialogue, and the French clown technique of bouffon. Audaciously satirical and physical, it is an unflinching look at war, rage, grief, and the delicate intersection of the beautiful and the grotesque in our world today.

The draw: A new play by Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Colleen Murphy

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” — Colleen Murphy

Murphy…doesn’t sidle reluctantly into risk; she embraces it as a necessary ingredient of theatre” — Edmonton Journal

The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius is deranged, darkly funny, and perverse, but its subversiveness also serves a purpose, and it makes for an unforgettable experience”— Andrea Warner, The Georgia Straight

I can’t recommend this show enough” — Paul Durras, BC BookWorld

The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius encourages us to get comfortable with discomfort, to revel in the outrageous and to trade our tears for laughter” — Lauren Donnelly, Vancouver Weekly

I can’t remember the last time I saw a show that got me so excited I thought I might lose my marbles” — Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius at first presents itself as a chaotic project by confused misfits, but in reality it is an intelligent (if not eloquent) commentary on the Shakespearean classic and the complexities of the world which we navigate” — Ljudmila Petrovic, SAD MAG

Nov 22, 8PM: Preview
Nov 23, 8PM: Opening Night
Nov 24 – 25, 28 – Dec 2, 8PM
Nov 26, Dec 2 – 3, 2PM


By Colleen Murphy
Adapted from William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus

Produced by Rumble Theatre and presented by The Cultch

Directed by Stephen Drover
Featuring Sarah Afful, Peter Anderson, Craig Erickson, Pippa Mackie, and Naomi Wright
Production Design by Drew Facey
Lighting Design by Sophie Tang
Sound Design/Composition by Mishelle Cuttler
Bouffon Coaching by Michael Kennard
Assistant Direction by Kim Sənklip Harvey
Stage Management by Jan Hodgson
Technical Direction by Matt Oviatt

Running Time:
90 Minutes, no intermission

Community Partner:


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