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CVV Theatre: Theatre Inconnu’s “Shockheaded Peter” Is A Darkly Funny Delight – Review by Fraser Hamilton

Shockheaded Peter, currently playing at Theatre Inconnu in Fernwood is the perfect antidote for anyone getting overwhelmed with the sugar-sweet holiday cheer. Like a poisonous piece of candy, the vaudeville-style show is a theatrical reenactment of several German cautionary poems, that warned young children in the 1800s to not misbehave, or risk getting…… well, let’s just say the results of being bad aren’t pretty. These darkly comic skits surround an overlapping story of Shockheaded Peter, a baby born with long, dirty nails and thick, curly hair, who was locked in the basement by his stuck-up parents. The couple can’t keep their monstrous child a secret for long however, prompting the show’s narrator (Bindon Kinghorn) to ask the audience; “What’s under your floorboards?” 

Whether you’re watching a bunch of naughty puppet boys get kidnapped by an evil German Santa, or a rabbit steal a hunter’s gun and go on a killing spree, you’re never really sure what Shockheaded Peter is going to deliver next, and that makes the experience that much better. Using puppets, props, and delightfully horrifying singsong rhymes, the show’s talented cast easily entertains the audience for the quick hour and a half. There wasn’t a single weak link in the ensemble, and same goes for the band, Party on High Street, who also provide a fantastic soundtrack for the show. December and the holiday season it entails can be a stressful, chaotic time for many, which is why Shockheaded Peter is exactly what I needed to entertain my dark, twisted sense of humour. The costumes, songs, puppets and performances made it a perfect and quick night out, and I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard at a play before. Who knew watching something so macabre could be so fun?

-Fraser Hamilton

Shockheaded Peter is currently playing at Theatre Inconnu in Fernwood Village until December 17th. For more information, click here.