Nicolas Billon's grisly crime thriller gets a remount at the Panasonic Theatre

Presented by David Mirvish
A Why Not Theatre production
Written by Nicolas Billon
Directed by Weyni Mengesha

Andrew Musselman, Tony Nappo and John Koensgen in BUTCHER ©2017, Freddie Lau.

Nicolas Billon's critically acclaimed play Butcher returns to Toronto this season as part of the Off-Mirvish series. Now playing at the Panasonic Theatre, this riveting production about the survivors of a fictional Balkan civil war keeps audiences guessing right up until the final scene.

It's Christmas eve and a mysterious old man (John Koensgen) is dropped off at a police station wearing a foreign military uniform and a Santa hat with a meat hook dangling around his neck. Over the next 75 minutes, a lawyer, Hamilton (Andrew Mussleman), a police officer, Detective Lamb (Tony Nappo) and a translator, Elena (Miranda Calderon) work to uncover the man's true identity. What they discover about him and each other is shocking.

Fast-paced, entertaining and, at times, uncomfortably tense, Butcher is a cutting examination of the horrors of war and the neverending quest for justice. Director Weyni Mengesha gets strong performances out of this exceptional cast, all of whom learned an invented language "Lavinian," created by professors in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto—specifically for the show.

Although the subject matter is definitely gruesome, Billon's strategic word play and clever use of translation means the violent scenes are effective while still leaving plenty to the imagination.

Don't miss this gripping, impactful performance. Butcher runs until April 9, 2017 at the Panasonic Theatre. Visit mirvish.com for more information and to buy tickets.

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