Eldritch Theatre is launching its first full season of productions with the Pucking Fuppet Co’s The Family Crow: A Murder Mystery. Having successfully toured the show to several festivals throughout the summer, actor Adam Francois Proulx and director Byron Laviolette bring their delightful show home to Toronto with a run at the Red Sandcastle Theatre. Full of murder, intrigue, and more puns than you can fathom, The Family Crow is a perfect way to start your Halloween celebrations.
The staging for this production is definitely something to crow about! The playing space is transformed to resemble a bird’s nest, with string and feathers interwoven with the mesh foundation. I loved the occasional shiny object glinting amongst the set pieces. The fact that Proulx was then controlling some of the lighting as well as performing only made the feat more impressive, and allowed for dramatic pauses and timing.
Proulx’s performance is remarkable. Not only does he voice the main character, Horatio P. Corvis, but he also does all of the voices for the entire cast of suspects as well! I enjoyed how he not only had various accents and mannerisms for each character, but he also moved through the space to show you each character; it certainly made it easier for the audience to keep track of the Family Crow and their murderous murder. Truly, I was just blown away. He was able to have natural conversations, interrupt one character with another, and keep everyone straight all while puppeteering. If nothing else, you should be coming just to see this performer do his thing.
While I certainly don’t want to give anything away, I will say a few quick things about the story/writing. First, it was very self-aware and that always makes me smile; from his ‘warnings’ before the performance to the ad-libbed comments throughout, I just love those kinds of jokes. Second, it was twisty! I didn’t see the conclusion coming until Corvis was wrapping things up Sherlock Holmes style for us. And third, be prepared for the puns, folks! I love puns, they tickle my funny bones, so if you’re in for an hour of well thought-out crow puns, this is the show for you! Honestly folks, this is a smart, funny story that is joyous to watch.
The Family Crow: A Murder Mystery runs until October 23rd at the Red Sandcastle Theatre on Queen Street East. You’ll be RAVEN about it to all of your friends! For more information and tickets please visit: THE FAMILY CROW: A Murder Mystery – Eldritch Theatre
Photo by Dahlia Katz