Raton Laveur is an Australian/Canadian production and an unusual one – in that it’s funny, gruesome, confronting and occasionally thought-provoking all at the same time.
It begins and continues as a messy bloodbath – the aftermath of a recent racoon slaying, which (I think) turns out to be a horrible murder mistake of the stressed out racoon chaser’s fiancé.
Things aren’t totally clear in this piece, and it’s possible this is precisely the point. Is the racoon killing highlighting the dysfunction in this odd couple’s relationship, or is it actually the reflection of a killing blunder in the mind of the killer? I thought I was missing something… but it seemed several audience members after the show were as unsure as I was.
Written by Amos Crawley, David Patrick Fleming and Caitlin Stewart this one-act psycho-drama/black comedy offers actors Wendy Bos and Ben Noble some worthy dialogue to work with.
Bos gives an excellent performance – strong and calm naturalism just right for this role. Her realistic, (yet tinged with ‘distant-other-world’) approach lets us think – that yes, she is actually the ghost of the slain woman talking in the mind of her lover as he cleans up his terrible mess.
Noble offers a solid portrayal which is relentless in its whining and whingeing; and while this rings true given the bloody mess he’s in, for an audience it becomes a tad wearing. Some light and shade to his experience and inner pain would alleviate this.
Direction by Alister Smith, set and costume by Isobel Hutton and lighting Design by Georgia Rann are all slick and wonderful.
If you’re into lots of blood and the odd funny moment washing around amongst it – then this very Fringe type show may be just the one for you.