I Hired A Contract Killer – Toronto Fringe 2013 Press Release

“A Finnish Fringe First”

From press release:

In keeping with the Toronto Fringe tradition of presenting emerging artists and supporting new works, the Randolph Academy will present the North American premiere of I Hired a Contract Killer by Aki Kaurismäki at the 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival. This is the first-ever stage adaptation of the Finnish auteur’s cult favorite film of the same name that featured a soundtrack by The Clash’s Joe Strummer.

Hailed as “delightfully preposterous” by The Guardian, I Hired a Contract Killer will be directed by Bruce Pitkin, who says, “Aki Kaurismäki’s film I Hired a Contract Killer was made in 1990, but speaks to us today about the nihilistic state of the working class, where marginalization precludes all hope, and yet, even in fallow soil, a seed of hope can take root.”

He continues, “Kaurismäki finds absurdity in the most painful of human experiences: being fired, suicide, loneliness, depression and death. Adapting it for the stage presents enormous challenges, in maintaining the stylistic balance between his humour in the story and the suspense propelling it forward, especially since he writes in a very low-key style.”

No stranger to directing Toronto Fringe shows, director Bruce Pitkin has helmed Makbeth, Kassandra and 2012 Critics Pick The House of Bernarda Alba. Bruce has performed, directed and taught in Japan, Germany, the U.S. and Canada. Other directing credits include Albertine in Five Times, Road, Elecktra, Mephisto, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, Uncle Vanya, The Trojan Women, Top Girls, and Our Town.

In I Hired A Contract Killer, civil servant Henri Boulanger is distraught at being ousted from his job and hires a professional to murder him. When his luck in love and life starts to change, Henri tries to cancel the contract, but is unable to do so. Faced with his imminent demise, Henri tries to drop clues to the contract killer that he would very much like to live. Will he be able to convince the hired gun to stop his pursuit?

The troupe of emerging artists who form the cast are all in their final year of training at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts’ Triple Threat® College Program.

I Hired A Contract Killer, presented by the Randolph Academy (in association with the Toronto Fringe Festival) plays the following dates at the Annex Theatre (730 Bathurst St.):

  • July 3, 8:15 p.m.
  • July 5, 3 p.m.
  • July 8, 10:15 p.m.
  • July 9, 4 p.m.
  • July 10, 5:15 p.m.
  • July 12, 12 p.m.
  • July 14, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and can be bought at the door, or purchased in advance at fringetix.ca or by phone at 416-966-1062, extension 1. Additional fees apply to advance purchases.

Please note that latecomers are never seated at Fringe performances.