The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius

by Colleen Murphy
Adapted from William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus
Directed by Stephen Drover

Produced by Rumble Theatre and presented by The Cultch

November 22 – December 3, 2017
The Historic Theatre at The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver, BC


Winner of six 2018 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards in the Small Theatre category, including:

*Outstanding Production
*Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble – Sarah Afful, Peter Anderson, Craig Erickson, Pippa Mackie & Naomi Wright
*Outstanding Lighting Design – Sophie Tang
*Outstanding Set Design – Drew Facey
*Outstanding Costume Design – Drew Facey
*Outstanding Direction – Stephen Drover

With nominations for:

*Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition – Mishelle Cuttler
*Outstanding Original Script – Colleen Murphy



The Society for the Destitute – five lumpy, stumpy performers on the fringe of civilization – decide to put on a contemporary version of Titus Andronicus, but as you might predict, this is not your average night of Shakespeare. They sometimes forget their lines, say what they want to, or refuse to stay dead when they are killed. And as only clowns are able, they turn the tables on us, the audience, and present us with our own foibles in a way that is both hilarious and inevasible. The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius is an inspired marriage of Shakespearian text, contemporary dialogue, and the French clown technique of bouffon. Audaciously satirical and physical, it is an unflinching look at war, rage, grief, and the delicate intersection of the beautiful and the grotesque in our world today.

Written by two-time Governor General’s Award winner Colleen Murphy, The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius is the second play commissioned for Rumble’s contemporary adaptation program. This was the world premiere production of the show.


Sarah Afful as Boots
Peter Anderson as Sob
Craig Erickson as Fink
Pippa Mackie as Leap
Naomi Wright as Spark


Playwright: Colleen Murphy
Director: Stephen Drover
Bouffon/Clown/Clouffon Coach: Michael Kennard
Assistant Director: Kim Sənklip Harvey
Production Design: Drew Facey
Lighting Design: Sophie Tang
Sound Design & Composition: Mishelle Cuttler
Movement Coach: Amy Rutherford
Stage Manager: Jan Hodgson
Apprentice Stage Manager: Shelby Bushell
Associate Costume and Props Designer: Jessica Hood
Managing Producers, Rumble Theatre: Becky Low and Laura Efron
Communications Manager, Rumble Theatre: Kellee Ngan
Technical Director: Matt Oviatt

What the critics had to say about the show:

The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius is deranged, darkly funny, and perverse, but its subversiveness also serves a purpose, and it makes for an unforgettable experience” — Andrea Warner, The Georgia Straight

“I can’t recommend this show enough” — Paul Durras, BC BookWorld

The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius encourages us to get comfortable with discomfort, to revel in the outrageous and to trade our tears for laughter” — Lauren Donnelly, Vancouver Weekly

“I can’t remember the last time I saw a show that got me so excited I thought I might lose my marbles” — Colin Thomas,

“If you need a really good laugh and you’re okay with dark, grisly, bloody, grotesque, rude and crude – all wrapped up in the French clowning style called bouffon – you will love Titus Bouffonius as much as I did” — Jo Ledingham,

“This show is smart. The heady mix of bouffon revelry and Shakespearean trauma is fuel for an edgy comedy, and playwright Colleen Murphy has dug deep into both worlds to concoct an experiential feast” — Chelsey Stuyt, Vancouver Presents

The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius at first presents itself as a chaotic project by confused misfits, but in reality it is an intelligent (if not eloquent) commentary on the Shakespearean classic and the complexities of the world which we navigate” — Ljudmila Petrovic, SAD MAG

The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius might give you a lot to talk about the next day…we were all pretty much speechless” — Tiva Quinn,


Project Support

The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius was developed with the assistance of Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

Hamber 2015 copy