Original Work



  • 90 Minutes
  • 3 M
  • 2 F
Yomiuri Awards
Best Production
Yomiuri Awards
Best Director
Yomiuri Awards
Best Actress
Rideau Awards
Best Production
Theatre Critics Award
Best Production
Calgary Critics Award
Best New Play


If — if — you are who you say you are, you’d be dead.

Who is the Butcher? At a police station a mysterious old man is found wearing a foreign military uniform and a Santa hat, with a meat hook dangling around his neck. As a lawyer, a police officer, and a translator struggle to unravel the truth, they uncover a past that won’t stay buried, and a decades-old quest for justice that must be served. Haunted by events a world away, no one is who they seem to be.


“Playwright Nicolas Billon goes from strength to strength in his writing, and Butcher is Billon at the top of his game. The characters are finely drawn. The story is gripping. There are so many beautifully drawn twists and turns in the story, each one set up with detailed care, it is very tempting to reveal some of them, but I won’t. Best to let your jaw drop on your own.”
– Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter

“Nicolas Billon’s explosive play Butcher, a thrilling, taut and harrowing 80 minutes of theatre […] The show is very funny and extraordinarily dark in equal measure; there is light repartee and deep psychological anguish. […] Therefore, what we have here is almost a twisted Die Hard (police at Christmas in an eventual hostage situation), but one that is both action movie and serious meditation on genocide and reparations, where you’re not nearly as sure where your sympathies lie.”
– Ilana Lucas, Mooney on Theatre

“Nicolas Billon’s brilliant, brutal play Butcher is a white-knuckle revenge tragedy. […] Butcher is one of the most artfully constructed plays we’ve seen in a long time.
– Martin Morrow, The Torontoist (4.5/5 stars)

“Does Butcher do its subject matter justice? Once the adrenalin rush dies off, you may realize that Billon’s play has more depth and subtlety than it initially appears – and that the medium of the thriller is part of its message.”
– J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe & Mail (4/4 stars)

“[Butcher is a] funny, horrifying, serpentine stage thriller. [It] unwinds with all the whiplash twists of a David Fincher film.”
– Martin Morrow, CBC Arts

“[The] plot builds into an extremely well-constructed thriller, with cinematic one-liners and whiplash-inducing plot twists. No sarcasm here: I can’t wait for the movie. […] For a lack of a better word, it is thrilling.”
– Carly Maga, Toronto Star (3.5/4 stars)

“Stupefying and unapologetic, it’s a live entertainment game changer.”
– Toronto Stage

Butcher is a devilishly clever piece of work […] Both its tact and its cruelty are precisely mirrored in Weyni Mengesha’s excruciatingly excellent production.”
– Robert Cushman, National Post

“True to its title, Nicolas Billon’s Butcher is a razor-sharp play that serves up some bloody good entertainment.”
– Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine (4/5 stars)

“Initially funny, even relaxed, the play soon darkens as the tension ratchets up, sometimes to hold-your-breath proportions, as Billon’s clever plot explores issues of justice and vengeance, the aftermath of violence, and the always thorny matter of communication. […] Butcher is a heck of a ride through the back room of the human meat department.
– Patrick Langston, Ottawa Citizen

Production History

2018 @ Theatre Kingston — Kingston, CANADA
2018 @ The Curtain Club — Richmond Hill, CANADA
2018 @ The Cultch — Vancouver, CANADA
2018 @ Persephone Theatre — Saskatoon, CANADA
2017 @ Grande Prairie Live Theatre — Grande Prairie, CANADA
2017 @ Theatre Office Natori — Tokyo, JAPAN
2016 @ Great Canadian Theatre Company — Ottawa, CANADA
2015 @ Prairie Theatre Exchange — Winnipeg, CANADA
2015 @ Centaur Theatre — Montréal, CANADA
2015 @ Why Not Theatre/The Theatre Centre — Toronto, CANADA
2015 @ Cercle Molière — Winnipeg, CANADA
2015 @ Signal Ensemble — Chicago, USA
2014 @ Alberta Theatre Projects – Calgary, CANADA


Coach House Books — October 2014
ISBN 978-1-55245-300-1
ISBN 978-1-77056-397-1

Production Posters

Production Posters

Production Posters

Production Posters

Production Posters

Production Posters

Production Posters