2013 Toronto Fringe Festival: Assassinating Thomson

A portrait of an artist with exceptional vision

Presented by Monster Theatre
Written by Bruce Horak
Directed by Ryan Gladstone

“My name is Bruce Horak and I’m here to paint your picture.”

These are the opening lines of Assassinating Thomson, a solo production featuring painter, playwright and actor Bruce Horak, now playing at St. Vladimir’s Theatre as part of this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. Clad in a paint-streaked t-shirt, jeans and sneakers, Horak has the warm, funny personality of an old friend. He opens the production by announcing to the audience that he is going to paint their picture, but what actually transpires is quite the opposite, as he paints an extraordinary portrait of his life, and the short life of Canadian artist Tom Thomson.

Although a childhood illness left him legally blind, with only 9% of his vision, Horak comes from an artistic family, and as such, has always been interested in art. He identifies with Thomson, specifically, and as he draws the parallels between his life and Thomson’s life, the audience is stunned as there are quite a few coincidences.

Horak’s memories of his childhood are interwoven with facts about art theory as well as the history of the Group of Seven, and his descriptions of each member leaves the audience in stitches. While he narrates, he works on a small canvas, which the audience knows contains their likeness, but will not be revealed until the end of the show. Horak’s theories about the mysterious death of Thomson are one of the highlights of the production, as it is clear that he has read many books and has done his homework with regards to the tragic figure. His passion for the artist is contagious and leaves the audience on the edge of their seats.

Horak’s energy, charisma and wealth of knowledge are what make Assassinating Thomson an absolute must-see at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. The big reveal of his painting at the end of the production coincides with the audience’s understanding of Horak as a remarkable individual.

Assassinating Thomson runs until July 13 at St. Vladimir’s Theatre. Visit fringetoronto.com for more information.




Show Dates: 
Fri, 2013-07-05 - Sat, 2013-07-13
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