James Murray and Laura Nordin in Stranger.
Albert Camus's existential novel L'Etranger is essentially an internalized story, and it's to Praxis Theatre's credit that the company succeeds - in large part - in giving theatrical life to the story of Meursault (James Murray).
Meursault is on trial for murder, but just as damning as the killing, according to the prosecutor (Michael Wheeler), is the fact that he showed no grief at his mother's funeral.
Developed by the company through a series of workshops, the production makes an effective use of movement, sliding back and forth in time in order to illuminate the story. It also shifts between acted scenes and direct address to the audience, who sometimes stand in for the jury.
Under Simon Rice's direction, the actors work hard in multiple roles, with Shaun McComb standing out in a variety of parts, including a brutal pimp, a gruff old man and a persuasive priest.
Murray captures Meursault's emotional neutrality, the fact that he's intellectually active but largely a passive observer in terms of worldly interactions. But that very fact makes Meursault hard to relate to as a stage character, and it's only in his last outburst that we connect with him.