Photos of the 2011 Night of Dread
This year marked Clay & Paper Theatre's 12th annual Night of Dread, and it was bigger and better than ever. The general theme for 2011 was fear of City Hall, with service cutbacks named as the Fear of the Year. Representative of this fright was a giant, two-headed papier-mache "gravy boat," which bore an uncanny resemblance to a certain big city Mayor and his brother.
Other "favourite" fears represented by enormous puppets (or "Big Dreads") were also on hand such as war, environmental contamination, hunger, big business, all of which were paraded through the streets around Dufferin Grove Park before being symbolically banished in a fire and dance ceremony at the end of the march.
Hundreds of people were on hand to help celebrate and march along while others were content to line the streets and applaud the surreal spectacle of giant puppets accompanied by costumed dancers and musicians from the Lemon Bucket Orkestra cavorted past.
The local community always shows its support for this event, and one of its unique features is that anyone can take part. Members of the audience are encouraged at the gathering beforehand to take one of the dreads and be part of the parade.
The evening drew to a close after the burning of the Gravy Boat with an impromptu dance around the bonfire and consumption of the bread of death; a nod to the Day of the Dead from which the event partly draws inspiration.
Writing and photos by Scott Snider
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