Held over! 7 additional performances of this thrilling piece of theatre.
Butcher has been held over at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC), so you have one more week to catch this thrilling piece of theatre that begins with a mystery.
The mystery is straightforward enough: An old man in physical and mental distress has been dropped off at a Toronto police station, in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. Hence the Santa hat he’s wearing. But what of his obscure army uniform? What language is he speaking? And what about his necklace: a butcher’s hook dangling around his neck, with a lawyer’s card impaled on its tip?
The duty cop doesn’t need the hassle. He took the night shift because it’s quiet and he needs to figure “Sergeant Santa” out quickly. Hopefully without too much paperwork. Paperwork that might delay getting home on time in the morning to open Christmas presents with his kids.
To that end he’s brought in the lawyer whose name is on the card, to try to help solve the mystery while they wait for a translator that, hopefully, will show up.
With the premise set, and without giving too much away, what follows is a brilliantly harrowing drama that moves between concepts of life and death as well as the nature of justice and revenge. And violence. Though it must be said that most of the violence is in the dialogue, with what does appear on stage brilliantly choreographed in such a manner that it’s not gratuitous, serving instead as a visual depiction of the content of this deep and dark piece of theatre.
Written by Nicholas Billon (who won the Governor-General’s Award for Drama in 2013), Butcher premiered at Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP) in 2014. It’s worth noting that ATP is currently staging a production of Rawi Hage’s novel Cockroach. And if you’re at all familiar with Hage’s work, you’ll agree that Butcher is in fine company.
It’s no wonder the current run has been extended for a further seven shows. Don’t miss your chance to see this thrilling piece of theatre.
Held over until March 20
Great Canadian Theatre Company
1233 Wellington Street West
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 8pm
Saturday: 4 & 8:30pm
Brendan McNally is a regular contributor to OttawaTonite.com.