POST 'Catch The Butcher' - what was this woman thinking?

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Photo by Carol Rosegg

What's it about?

A woman fascinated by her killer, is it possible? Well, that's something you'll have to read to find out.

What did I experience?

When first reading the title, it was reasonable to think that the story developed in the play would in some way deal with a type of suspense; this was the main reason I really wanted to watch this play, the word "Butcher" just stood out to me, how deep was the story going to go in order to take on a title like this?

Well, let's just start by saying that after the fact that it had been a beautiful day and suddenly turned into a rainy and dark late afternoon, wasn't at all pleasant to be in the middle of. Even though I got lost and literally walked in circles, freaked out by the nightfall and the look of the streets without many was interestingly "cool". As I walked I felt a mix of chilling and anxious feelings because I thought that it someway it was just building on to what I would see in the play, it was exciting and I couldn't wait to get to the venue.

There I was then, in a room filled with people but still able to have a perfect view to the stage. Lighting and sound portrayed darkness and mystery as only a young woman, Nancy, sat in a bench, cautiously looking around and noticing a mysterious (creepy) man looking back at her and then running away. I was kind of scared for myself at that moment, as I suddenly imagined myself in her situation, I would've ran. But for some reason she kept coming back to sit at that bench, he noticed her and she noticed him, wasn't she feeling any type of fright?

All of the sudden she's held from behind with a cloth in her mouth and nose, but she didn't even try to resist it, she was gone. I was puzzled, there was something iffy about the way she reacted...Why though?

She is then in a room, with a piece of cloth around her mouth, hands and feet handcuffed around a chair. The butcher had caught her. Sounds of opening doors and footsteps approaching were heard, and then he appeared; tall and mysterious, with a mischievous expression on his face. He looked like a serial killer.

Nancy tried to talk to him at various occasions, and each time dropping more personal questions. What was this woman thinking exactly? She didn't seem scared at all, in fact it was as if she were trying to make friends with him. When Nancy asked him his name, she literally discarded his answer and decided on a name for herself, "Bill" she said.

At this point, I was quite confused, I didn't know who was who now. Being it that Nancy wasn't really reacting in a shocking way, I started thinking if things would play vice versa, and questioning who would turn out to be the real butcher.

As the conversations flowed, I caught on. Nancy got Bill to talk more and more about the kind of person he was, although he was really hesitant. I wondered why he hadn't gone on with his plan, he had kidnapped Nancy for a reason. Then this same question was dropped by her, I figured she really had guts, and he said "you're beautiful". Ha! It had clicked, he liked her. I couldn't help smiling, and at the same time think about how unusual the situation was.

But things took a whole wicked turn when Nancy recognized who he was, " you're the butcher" she said. I gasped and looked even more attentively. She described how she had always heard and looked for him, she wanted to meet him, and even ultimately admitted that she wanted to be kidnapped by him. She admired him through the poems that he always left with his victims after tossing them onto a river. Woah! My Eyes opened wide. At that time I only thought that there was a name for those types of occurrences, when the victim falls in love with their kidnapper, but I didn't know what was.

She proposed to start a life together, Bill resisted. But even after wounding her with a knife, he was persuaded by her, he couldn't help to see her suffer, so things started taking different turns. Bill wanted to offer Nancy a "normal" life, therefore the crimes he used to commit had not been going on, he was taking on a regular man's life with a job. On the other hand, Nancy felt isolated, with no communication and prohibited from the outside world. I tell she wanted something more, she craved it,  but i still couldn't figure it out.

Without regard to Bill's directions, Nancy allowed herself to converse with one of the neighbors, Joanne. A very social woman, who opened up Nancy's mind. She made her realize that sometimes people have to speak up with their actions if they ever feel contradicted and not being heard, that was how she felt by Bill, ignored in the sense that he wasn't letting her fulfill herself socially. Nancy Invited Joanne over for dinner for the next evening, and of course Bill disagreed, but Nancy didn't submit to his answer. In fact she quickly turned aggressive when she stabbed bill's hand with a fork while at the dinner table. I covered my mouth with my hand. At that point I knew there was something deeper going on with Nancy. I realized the reason she wanted to be with Bill.

It was proven when the next day, before dinner when Joanne discussed that "The Butcher" had turned himself in to the police. Of course Bill didn't know this was true, he filled with rage inside and with a scary temper scared Joanne out of the house. There was definitely something really bad about to take place after Bill quickly took off his clothes. I was intrigued. He opened the door to the basement and came back up with a plastic apron on. I knew he was going to do something harsh, and I clearly remember my teeth biting down at my gum so hard.

Nancy shows up and the confrontation begins, this time Bill doesn't seem to be hesitant and he questions Nancy of the fear she should feel. And just as I had thought, she admitted she didn't. It was this type of person that Nancy wanted all along, the one who tortured and killed for pleasure. It was a fascination that indulged her, without caring that it would be her the one to kill.

I was definitely left with my mouth opened because I couldn't believe it entirely. The idea just didn't seem to fit, it seemed so monstrous and yet so fascinating. I wondered if I was going crazy too. I didn't want to be in her place and I just couldn't picture my reaction if I were, but I knew it would not have been admiration at all. On the other hand it was just very intriguing to know about these types of events more because of the fact that they can be very rare to almost unreal, because even though it can sound weird, I believe there's always a possibility of anything happening in this world as remote as at may be. I guess ultimately, it fulfilled that wicked part that we all carry on at times that we wish to satisfy in some way.

Want to see it?


Student Rush available

Catch the Butcher
Cherry Land Theatre
thru Oct. 30