Starting today, Vancouverites can make the trek over to the Italian Cultural Centre (3075 Slocan Street) for a taste of theatre at a makeshift trailer park. Yup, that’s right… you read it correctly. A tacky Texan-style trailer park is set to become the sultry scene for black comedy Killer Joe in the heart of picture perfect YVR.
Penned by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), and Directed by Chelsea Haberlin, this ‘trailer-trash noir’ follows a deeply dysfunctional Texas family that hires a contract killer in order to collect life insurance. The site-specific production places the action in a purpose-built trailer park, giving audiences an immersive, intimate proximity to the homicidal kinfolk.
It’s theatre with a trashy twist and one that’s definitely geared toward the HBO/Tarantino fan club. The show features plenty of gore, violence, nudity and shock factors – all shown in an incisive way so as to create a dialogue around ambiguity and moral righteousness that’s so prevalent in society, and of course the depravity that poverty can necessitate.
The premise: Killer Joe plays out before an intimate audience of 30 in a trailer-home belonging to the Smith family. The eldest son, Chris, embroils his kin in a plot to kill their mother to collect her life insurance and they hire cop-by-day/hitman-by-night Killer Joe Cooper to carry out the dirty deed. However, Killer Joe develops a soft spot for Chris’ baby sister, Dottie, and that’s when audiences see all hell break loose in the park.
In addition to the Smith’s mobile-home, an elaborate trailer park has been built within the Italian Cultural Centre’s lot, with various ‘installation trailers’ helping give an experiential insight into the work. Cruise around and engage in a fully-immersive environment: roam the park before the show and grab a can of beer to enjoy afterward. Mullets, greasy ball-caps, and tie-dye short-short cut-offs are optional.
Tickets for Killer Joe can be purchased in advance here for $25 (or at the door with cash, if available).
Will you be checking out Killer Joe? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.