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A Finnish Fringe First

Submitted by Elaine O'Neal on 6/12/2013


Randolph Academy to Premiere Stage Adaptation of
I HIRED A CONTRACT KILLERby Aki Kaurismäki at Toronto Fringe 2013

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 Killerwill 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 humor 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, andOur 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.

Randolph Academy Presents in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents

I Hired a Contract Killer
Written by Aki Kaurismäki
Directed by Bruce Pitkin
Featuring: Jackie Rose Brown, Brittani Byrne, Andrew J. Hampton, Jessica Harb, Annelise Hawrylak, Jordi O'Dael, Samantha Knapp, Matt Raffy, Shai Tannyan, and Mitchell Wedgewood
Opens July 3 and  runs to July 14
Randolph Centre for the Arts -- Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst Street, Toronto

Performances:
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.

Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating.

Tickets:
At-the-door tickets: $10
At-the-door tickets are available at Annex Theatre starting one hour prior to show time - cash sales only.
Advance tickets: $11
50% of tickets are available for sale in advance.
Advance tickets go on sale June 15th, 2013.

Purchase online: fringetoronto.com.
By Phone: 416-966-1062, ext 1.

In Person: During the Festival Box Office in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St W).