Torquil Campbell

Christian Gerhartsreiter (aka Clark Rockefeller), a con man of the highest order, is now serving a near-life sentence in a California state prison, and Torquil Campbell (of the band Stars) wants to try him on for size.

When Campbell learned that Rockefeller was arrested for kidnapping his own daughter in 2009, he recognized him from a 1993 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.

At that time, Rockefeller was going by the name of Christopher Chichester and was wanted in connection to the disappearance of two people from California.

Torquil Campbell

Influenced by both his own physical resemblance to Rockefeller and a lifelong interest in true crime stories, Campbell turned the case into a one-man show, True Crime. Campbell tells the story of visiting and interviewing the con man in prison, in turn inspiring some of the songs that underscore the show.

The National Post has hailed provocateur and musician Torquil Campbell’s True Crime as “vivid…funny…frightening…his performance is astonishing”.

Torquil Campbell

According to Campbell, “This all happened because I became obsessed with the idea of this man who was very much like me, living a life of such perversion and such peril. I thought, what if we switched places? What if the artist left his personal morality behind and gave into his aesthetic obsession? I love the romance of crime—that’s a Morrissey lyric—and I love the moment when someone decides to do something terrible. I think Rockefeller just might be an artist, and that really frightens me.”

Campbell will follow his performance of True Crime on Friday, February 15 with a DJ set.

Arts Club Theatre Presents True Crime

Dates: January 31 to February 24; Tuesday to Thursday, 7:30 pm; Friday, Saturday, 8 pm; Wednesday, 1:30 pm; Saturday, Sunday, 2 pm
Venue: Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre, 162 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Tickets: From $29; available online or via 604.687.1644

Photos by Dahlia Katz.

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