Raton Laveur (Fracas Theatre) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

I always enjoy when a play opens with blood all over the set, especially if it includes a carpet rolled up, intimating a dead body of someone – or something – inside.

Raton Laveur is, apparently, the French word for raccoon. Phil and Lily have moved to a new city and Phil, who is obviously a bit mentally unwell, has developed an obsession with raccoons. In fact, he thinks one raccoon in particular is stalking him and his obsession has become very, very violent. 

Right off the bat this premise is appealing because really, who in the city doesn’t hate raccoons? (They live in the country as well, of course, but being from the bush myself I know that out there racoons are slight nuisances when you’re contending with the likes of bears and wolves. Here in the city the racoons are far more brazen about getting into your business, probably because they are also not contending with the likes of bears and wolves.)

This is a comedy for those who like a little meat cleaver humour. You know who you are. There are pretty consistent chuckles throughout and two or three big laughs.

At times the dialogue seemed to me to be a little “you say your line – I say my line – you say your line – I say my line” instead of in-the-moment reactions to each other. That could be pure exhaustion on the part of the actors though – an 11:15 pm show on the 8th day of Fringe can’t be any performer’s optimal time.

I probably won’t remember anything about Raton Laveur in a couple months, but I was happy to have spent an hour watching it tonight.

Details

– Raton Laveur plays at Venue 7, St. Vladimir’s Theatre

– Playing at

Fri, July 8 3:30 PM 708
Sat, July 9 4:00 PM 715
Sun, July 10 7:30 PM 724
Mon, July 11 6:30 PM 730
Wed, July 13 11:15 PM 745
Fri, July 15 9:45 PM 758
Sun, July 17 2:45 PM 768

– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $10+$1 convenience fee)

– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows