Shudder (hum dansoundart) 2011 SummerWorks Review

Shudder is a show inspired by the paintings of Francis Bacon. Comprised mainly of what I would describe as creative movement, but not quite dance, this show is like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Francis Bacon was a painter with an unusual style, especially at his time. He conveyed a sense of the strange and eerie with his paintings, and this show certainly does as well, but in my opinion this becomes overstated.

I got a chance to briefly skim through the program before the show began. In hindsight I should have paid closer attention because the description provided would have assisted me throughout this play due to the lack of linear narrative.

The set is simple and straightforward, enabling the audience to focus primarily on the other more heavily emphasized components. When all combined – the sound, movements, and lighting – the performance feels strange but not quite captivating because it seems too sporadic.

There are certainly moments when they create an immense amount of discomfort, and I have to say it is great when a show can create such a reaction.

Shudder felt a little lacking in structure and slow-paced at parts, which made the play a little tedious for me. My guest considered it somewhat appropriate as a translation of Francis Bacon, but understood my sentiments of it being excessive.

Shudder plays at Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Ave.)

Wednesday, August 10, 7:00 pm
Thursday, August 11, 4:30 pm
Friday, August 12, 4:30 pm
Sunday, August 14 7:00 pm

– All individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at, by phone at 416.504.7529, in person at the Arts Box Office (located at Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., One block North East of Bathurst & Queen W. M-F 12PM-7PM, Weekends 10AM-8PM) (Advance tickets are $15 +HST and $1 service fee)

– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows