Nicole Alivojvodic Reviews Butcher On Now At The Cultch Till March 31st

22 Mar

TheButcherPhotoByTimMathesonNot for the light of heart, this stage thriller is brought to The Cultch by Prime Cuts Collective, a company formed exclusively for the purpose of producing Butcher in Vancouver. Written by Nicolas Billon, this play is a dark and suspenseful exploration of the nature of justice and revenge, earning a standing ovation on opening night. Starring Peter Anderson, Lindsey Angell, Noel Johansen, and Daryl Shuttleworth, Butcher’s all-star cast keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

While the story is inspired by very real historical atrocities, the play is set in Toronto and centers on the history and politics of the fictional Eastern European country “Lavinia”. Impressively, an entire language, “Lavinian”, was created for the purpose of this play and learned by the cast. The language has Slavic roots and can actually be understood quite well by anyone familiar with a Slavic language.

Butcher brilliantly captures themes relevant to recent and ancient history at the same time. While the main plot draws on real civil conflicts that occurred less than 30 years ago in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda, the themes of penance and blood vengeance point back to the writings of Aeschylus and explicitly draw on the tropes of classical Greek tragedy. Billon takes these seemingly archaic concepts and shows how truly prevalent they are in the modern world. Further, while Butcher speaks to atrocities far from home it maintains a distinctly Canadian voice, alerting us to our place in these global histories.

For tickets to this clever and powerful play, on now until March 31st at Historic Theatre, visit The Cultch. 

By Contributing Writer: Nicole Alivojvodic
Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

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