Helwig and a Night of Scream
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Helwig and a Night of Scream

As the Boy Reporter reported last week, The Scream Literary Festival is in our parks and hearts right now. Though a lot of good reads are still to come, roving Torontoist contributor Stephanie Silverman pokes us with this review of last Saturday night at the Press Club:
I went to this event expecting nothing. Or at least, a whole lot of well-executed nothing that would result in a big spontaneous something. Barring that, I at least wanted to attend a well-heeled party. None of those things happened at the Music of No Mind, and yet it was so much more than I could have expected.

David Helwig took the stage without an introduction, without a harrumph of his throat, without even a polite cough. Indeed, he immediately launched into what was maybe a direct reading of a manuscript, or perhaps a script written originally for this performance. A performance it definitely was, if nothing else. Helwig spoke for almost three hours and wove an intricate tale of love, death, art criticism, and academic intrigue for the small, rapt audience assembled at the Press Club on a Saturday nite. He never broke character and never explained more than the essentials regarding his character. In the end, however, we were rewarded with an intimate biography of a stranger, and almost all the answers to most of our questions. The story was ripe with literary jokes, homonymic puns, and book references that made the demographically diverse audience giggle with appreciation. In truth, it was one of the most entertaining three hours that I’ve earned with a five-dollar entrance fee, and I owe it all to a talented, mysterious writer and the good folks at the Scream. Helwig and the Scream prove that Canadian literature is far more than just Shields, Ignatieff and Toews, and far from dead.
The Scream continues over the coming week and culminates with a mainstage reading series on July 11th in High Park.