SummerWorks projects vivid, varied and versatile: review

Productions driven by women among the more thought-provoking works at festival running along the Queen West corridor.

Eleven days, 52 performance projects plus a host of ancillary programming: SummerWorks 2017 is up and running in venues conventional and unconventional along the Queen St. W. corridor.

When viewing work quick and fast in festivals such as this you look for themes and patterns, and it’s worth mentioning that of six projects seen, the ones that really popped for me were led by women.

Reassembled, Slightly Askew is a sound installation from Northern Ireland experienced by eight spectators at a time, lying on hospital beds and wearing headphones and sleeping masks. You’re attended to initially by an actor playing a nurse (Matt Faris) who gives thoughtful instructions about what to do and expect.

In short, you do nothing and everything: the installation takes you inside the experience of playwright Shannon Yee, who in 2008 became profoundly ill with a rare brain infection and now lives with a hidden disability. The cutting-edge audio makes the sound three-dimensional and simulates the breakdown of logical sense, the cacophony of sounds and silence, and the in-and-out-of-full-consciousness state that Yee lived in during nine weeks in hospital.