Patrons of the Tom Rooney Theatre will be treated to some dark humour on June 1 and 2.
Harbour Theatre is presenting Killer Joe, a brooding comedic tale of love, violence, sex and fried chicken set in a Texas trailer park in the America’s deep South.
The story follows Killer Joe, a hitman for hire who is contracted by a family to kill one of their immediate relatives and the ensuing complications.
“People will see Shakespeare deep fried,” said George Baker, who plays Killer Joe, the shows main antagonist. “They will see a bunch of characters who are trying to figure out each other’s motives and how they all fit into this depraved world in Texas.”
Preparation for the play has been intense as most of the cast were previously involved with the community musical Spamalot. Treena Decker, the director for Killer Joe, said as soon as Spamalot wrapped up its performances, rehearsals immediately began to prepare for the next production.
The cast has been practicing four nights a week for the past six weeks, and even though the atmosphere has been tense at times, Decker said she is pleased with the energy and effort they have committed to the production.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s like one big dysfunctional family, which is kind of what the play is as well,” she said.
Decker said that while the play leans on a lot of stereotypes about the culture of the deep South in the United States, there is a vulnerable quality to the characters that will make them sympathetic to the audience.
“There’s a very human side to all of them that comes out during the course of the play,” she said.
Decker also acknowledged that there are moments when the play deals with topics that may be too intense for younger viewers or individuals who have encountered certain forms of violence in the past, but the moments are brief. Mature viewers will enjoy the way that the play probes real issues and finds humour in them.
“I think that’s what theatre should always be about,” she said. “As actors and theatre folk we’re tasked with telling the human story, which is an interesting thing do.
“I think we have a heck of a show, and so we hope that everyone will come out and have a good time with Killer Joe.”
Harbour Theatre performed at the Skeena Zone Drama Festival on May 25 where they brought home several honours including Best Suppporting Actor and Actress, People’s Choice Best Actor and Actress and Best Overall Costume.
They return to the Tom Rooney Theatre to perform the play on May 31.