The Family Crow: A Murder Mystery
Written & Performed by Adam Francis Proulx
The Pucking Fuppet Co. - Toronto, ON
V.17 - PTE - Colin Jackson Studio 
Puppets! Puns! Murder!
The Family Crow has a murderer in its midst, but who could it be? Find out with internationally-celebrated puppeteer Adam Francis Proulx (Family Jr., CBC Gem, Netflix) in this hilarious puppet show for adults.
WINNER - Best Original Script, Patron's Pick - Orlando Fringe
WINNER - Best New Play - London Fringe
WINNER - Pick of the Fringe - Vancouver Fringe
"As amusing as it is imaginative" - Revue Jeu, Montréal
"Seriously funny highflying fun" - Orlando Sentinel

Byron Laviolette

Show Info:
60 Minutes

Parental Guidance

Discussion of murder...obviously.

Wed July 19 6:30 PM*
*(2 for $12)
Thu July 20 9:00 PM
Fri July 21 2:30 PM
Sat July 22 7:15 PM
Mon July 24 8:30 PM
Wed July 26 7:00 PM
Thu July 27 3:30 PM
Fri July 28 9:00 PM
Sat July 29 7:30 PM
Sun July 30 3:15 PM

The Family Crow: A Murder Mystery

The Pucking Fuppet Co.—PTE – Colin Jackson Studi

A puppet show doesn’t get any simpler than this: one person, one puppet and a mystery.

Proulx’s cawstume was cool but it was the crow the stole the show. Prepare to spend the entire span of the outing shaking your head and rolling your eyes as you endure the rapid-fire streak of dad-joke like puns. I cawn’t remember how many times I laughed but I croaned a lot. The cawdience really appreciated it as most of the room stood on their talons while clapping their wings.

Ray Yuen

The Family Crow: A Murder Mystery

The Pucking Fuppet Co.—PTE – Colin Jackson Studio

Preface: Read my letter in The Jenny, “A Review of Venue 17.”

Adam Francis Proulx is a strong performer with a great aesthetic (from what I could see from the upstage left corner of The Colin Jackson’s side audience seating) but I was left wanting so much more. The Family Crow: A Murder Mystery, is a solo show with a cast of multiple characters and one fabulous puppet.
If you are a puppeteer then doesn’t it follow that you eliminate the barriers of a typical solo show? Doesn’t a puppeteer have the ability to play multiple characters by incorporating multiple puppets?

What an odd and disappointing choice. I didn’t go to a puppet show to see one puppet playing the lead, while its puppeteer took on multiple characters using the tired tropes of imprecise head turning, standing at various places along an imaginary line-up, and poorly executed voice work.
I went to a puppet show to see puppets.
Puppets with an s.
If time and expense in acquiring additional puppets are an issue for the artist, I’d have happily accepted crudely constructed puppets—socks, gloves, paper bags, popsicle sticks with mounted heads, repurposed utensils, crap from people’s purses, clever knuckle-costuming on Proulx’s painted hand…
I just wanted more.

The lighting did not make use of the venue’s installed overhead lighting plot. Proulx used adjustable goose-neck desk lamps arranged in a sloppy arc on the floor, operated haphazardly from a tangled mess of foot switches. In a partial thrust theatre, the show should be staged with the angle as centre line. Had Proulx made these minor blocking adjustments then the lighting would probably have worked. Instead, the let’s pretend they don’t exist, side audience got the frustrating pendulum-swing experience of,
“I-can’t-see-it’s-way-too-dark,” and
As a Neurodivergent “AuDHD” person the lighting felt assaulting, often aimed right into my eyes. (Ugh. I miss the old incandescent lightbulbs.)

If I wasn’t instantly agitated by blinding light and feeling excluded, I might’ve enjoyed the show. Wordsmith to wordsmith, Proulx’s cheesy crow-puns were well-written but sometimes not well-paced or well-articulated, so many were easily missed. They got a lot of laughs from much of the enthusiastic sold-out crowd.

My autism & ADHD affect my communal experiences, because I’m busy processing sensory input before I can fully engage with, and appreciate, people & places. I am fully aware that, especially as I age, I am often having a completely different experience from the rest of the audience. Under different intersectional conditions: environmental, sensorial, emotional, and physiological, I might’ve loved The Family Crow.

Why do I bother going to the theatre if it makes me so grumpy? Because I fell in love with the art form from the very first mesmerizing play I attended as a five-year-old, “Glooscap’s People” by Evelyn Garbary, a Mermaid Theatre production that toured to Winnipeg in 1975. Incidentally, it was my first exposure to puppetry, mask, and physical theatre. Theatre-going & Theatre-making, for me, is like chasing a rare gem—a perfect, shared, immersive communion of human minds and energies—I felt it in 1975 and many times since, and I continue to seek it out with faithful and hopeful attendance.

Kim Zeglinski