Performance Club: The Talking Grave by Hope Thompson

Thursday, September 12

Doors: 7:30pm
Performance: 8:00pm

The Commons @ 401
401 Richmond Street West, 4th floor
Hope Thompson

Performance Club: The Talking Grave

Cornell Woolrich in conversation with Hope Thompson


“It’s not everyday you get to talk to the dead—and they answer.”

~Hope Thompson


In a rare, ‘one-on-one’ Hope Thompson interviews crime writer and father of noir, Cornell Woolrich (1903–1968). Thompson brings alive her obsessive fascination with both Woolrich’s writing and his life in this ‘tell-all-from-beyond-the-grave’ interview performance. A solitary and reclusive figure in life, Woolrich is similarly reticent in death, however, Thompson’s interview techniques draw out the writer, giving the Performance Club a window into the dark secrets, vulnerabilities and surprising humour of this often overlooked giant of 20th century crime fiction.


Cornell Woolrich’s seminal short story, Three O’clock, will be provided as a sample of the author’s work. In this thriller of marital revenge, a husband known only as “Stapp” plots the murder of his wife, only to have a series of surprise events send him spiraling into nail scratching despair.





As a proposition for a performance or the framework for an actual book club, Performance Club redefines the historical and contemporary performance art canon, one book club, and one book / article / essay / anthology at a time. Invited artists perform the role of book club facilitators, leading the audience through a performance of a reading, a reading performance, a performance about a book, or a bookish performance. This series is on-going. Sometimes we pick the book and invite an artist; sometimes we invite an artist and they pick a book. Just like a real book club, we ask the audience to read the suggested material before coming to the performance. But don't worry, just like a real book club, no one ever does. 


Performance Club: 2017–2019


Performance Club 1

Queer/Play edited by Moynan King

Performed by Moe Angelos

December 14–15, 2017


Performance Club 2

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

Performed by Keith Cole

January 20–February 20, 2018


Performance Club 3

9Questions, an artist project by Gustaf Broms (2018)

(The time we made our own book.)


Performance Club 4

Book Club: snowflakes in the echo chamber

Performed by Moe Angelos

September 5, 2019


Performance Club 5

The Talking Grave

Performed by Hope Thompson

September 12, 2019


Performance Club 6

Deat, Sex, & Macrame (and other works)

Performed by David Bateman

September 19, 2019


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