In 1876, Jack the Ripper, otherwise known as Canadian Doctor Thomas Neill Cream, graduated with merit from McGill’s faculty of medicine. Cream was a backstreet abortionist and managed an exclusive brothel called The Elite Club. His notorious reputation eventually forced him to flee Canada for London. He was hanged in 1892 for the murder of four prostitutes.
Doctor Thomas Neill Cream mixes fact and speculation with its cast of unlikely characters: khaki-covered union organizers—the good guys; five white-faced “zombies” representing such illustrious “Founding Fathers of Confederation” and distinguished members of the McGill fraternity as Sir Hugh Allan, Sir William Dawson, Sir William Osier and Lord Strathcona—the victors; and their young prostitutes—the victims.
Intended as a cultural exorcism, playwright David Fennario charges with murder the capitalists who are now paraded through our history books as nation-builders. Past evil is parallelled in the present.
Short-listed 1994 Arthur Ellis Award
“Fennario’s in-your-face irreverence [is] ferociously funny.”
— U of T Quarterly
Anglophone playwright born David Wiper in Montreal, Quebec, 1947. He was raised in the working class district of Pointe-St-Charles, an area he would make the centre of most of his plays.