(This story is sponsored by Touchstone Theatre.)
The B.C. premiere of Brad Fraser’s powerful black comedy, Kill Me Now, takes the stage at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova Street) from October 13 to 27.
Five years since its Canadian debut at Edmonton’s Workshop West Theatre—with subsequent celebrated productions in New York, London, Winnipeg, and Ottawa—Touchstone Theatre brings this frank, fearless, and ferociously funny play to Vancouver audiences.
Kicking off Touchstone’s 2018-19 season, Kill Me Now is the latest heartfelt and hard-hitting show from the iconic Fraser. As a mainstay of theatrical innovation and excellence on the West Coast for more than 42 years, Touchstone’s all-Canadian mandate has helped to launch and develop some of the country’s most important theatre artists.
Previous Touchstone productions of Fraser’s work include The Wolf Boy (1982), Unidentified Human Remains & the True Nature of Love (1991), and True Love Lies (2011). But despite this history, Roy Surette, the theatre’s artistic director and Kill Me Now director, believes this could be the playwright’s best yet.
“I am excited to direct this tough yet loving, harrowing yet surprisingly funny play,” he said. “He has a remarkable talent for exploring complex issues and emotional power kegs with compassion rather than sentimentality.”
The production boasts an all-local cast performing the story of Jake (Bob Frazer), a single dad caring for his teen son Joey (Adam Grant Warren) who has a severe disability. Raising Joey during his puberty is hard enough, but when Jake develops a serious medical condition he becomes the one to rely on the people around him, including his sister Twyla (Luisa Jojic), his secret lover Robyn (Corina Akeson), and Joey’s buddy Rowdy (Braiden Houle). As Jake’s condition worsens, an ethical dilemma troubles the household as everyone is forced to consider the possibility of saying goodbye.
“Being queer and growing up in poverty led me to see the world from a much different perspective than many, and my desire to see that world reflected in the theatre led to the democracy of my characters—to understand and portray things that are outside of my immediate realm of everyday experience,” said Fraser. “This is my obligation as an artist, to explore that which is not me. To find the concerns we all share in the traits that make us different. This is not a play about disability. It is a play about courage and love.”
Touchstone Theatre’s production of Kill Me Now by Brad Fraser takes place at the Firehall Arts Centre from October 13 to 27. Tickets start at $17 and are available online or by calling 604-689-0926.