True Crime a result
of many ingredients

Torquil Campbell’s one-man show looks into split personalities

By Byron Toben

Amazing how many scenarios wait around before they coalesce to form a dramatic work (or other events in life).

Take a look at the ingredients going into Torquil Campbell’s one-man show True Crime.

Ingredient One. Ten years ago, Vanity Fair featured an article about a German immigrant to the United States named Christian Gerhartsreiter who adopted various famous names and false backgrounds.

True Crime - WestmountMag.caThus he was able to charm himself into high levels of society before being exposed for kidnapping his own daughter and convicted for several murders years before in California. The unsolved murders had been, until then, one of the episodes on the TV series of Unsolved Mysteries.

Ingredient Two. Torquil Campbell, born in England, grew up in Canada, where his actor father, Douglas, had been invited to join the newly established Shakespeare festival in Ontario where he became a stalwart until his retirement years later.

Ingredient Three. Torquil studied acting in New York and appeared in a number of productions, including Shakespearian roles. He became a musician as well, often as songwriter and singer with the indie rock group Stars.

Ingredient Four. Torquil became a fan of TV crime shows and one night saw the above mentioned episode, read the above Vanity Fair article, noted a physical resemblance between himself and the convicted masquerader and decided to correspond with the convict in prison, who had adopted such fake names as Clark Rockefeller.

Did Torquil actually meet Christian in person? To decide, you have to see this highly acclaimed performance at the Centaur Theatre yourself.

Take all these ingredients, mix them into a stew directed by in demand Chris Abraham, add some music by Julian Brown and voilà! you have this unique concoction delving into split personalities. Did Torquil actually meet Christian in person? To decide, you have to see this highly acclaimed performance at the Centaur Theatre yourself.

True Crime continues at the Centaur Theatre until January 27.
514 288-3161

Feature image: Dahlia Katz
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Read more articles from Byron Toben

Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.

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