Shove It Down My Throat
March 30 - April 14

A gonzo true-crime story about homophobia, violence, sex, and mystery.

Buddies in Bad Times + Pandemic Theatre

In 2013, Luke O’Donovan is arrested after a knife fight at a New Year’s party. The media portrays him as a maniac who went on a stabbing spree. Luke says he’s the victim of a queer-bashing, punished for fighting back. In 2014, theatre artist Johnnie Walker begins writing letters to Luke in prison and working on a new play.

A fierce and freewheeling exploration of a powerful true story, Shove It Down My Throat puts queerness, identity, and complicity through a theatrical kaleidoscope as Johnnie sifts through the different versions of Luke’s story — and the different versions of Luke — in search of the ever-elusive truth.

Developed in the Buddies Residency Program in collaboration with Pandemic Theatre, with additional script development support from Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal. The Buddies Residency program is sponsored by BMO Financial Group, with additional support from the Paul Butler & Chris Black Foundation.

photo of Johnnie Walker by Tanja-Tiziana

See more, spend less.

Earn Buddies Rewards when you buy tickets to this show through our Buddies Rewards program.

A Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Pandemic Theatre co-production


directed by TOM ARTHUR DAVIS
set + costume design by ANAHITA DEHBONEHIE
lighting design by REBECCA VANDEVELDE
sound design by JIVESH PARASRAM
assistant directed by RHIANNON COLLETT
stage manager WALEED ANSARI
production manager OZ WEAVER


MARCH 30 – APRIL 14, 2019

Run Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes, including one intermission

Saturday, March 30 // 8:00 PM (preview)
Sunday, March 31 // 8:00 PM (preview)

Tuesday, April 2 // 8:00 PM (preview)
Wednesday, April 3 // 8:00 PM (opening night)
Thursday, April 4 // 8:00 PM
Friday, April 5 // 8:00 PM
Saturday, April 6 // 8:00 PM
Sunday, April 7 // 2:30 PM (Relaxed Performance followed by an Artist Talk)

Tuesday, April 9 // 8:00 PM
Wednesday, April 10 // 8:00 PM
Thursday, April 11 // 8:00 PM
Friday, April 12 // 8:00 PM
Saturday, April 13 // 8:00 PM
Sunday, April 14 // 2:30 PM (followed by an Artist Talk)

Ticket Prices

Previews  $20
Tu_W   $35
Th_F_Sa   $40
Su  $35
Previews  $20
Tu_W  $30
Th_F_Sa  $35
Su  $30

Pay What You Can

Buddies believes that everyone should be able to see our shows, which is why we’re expanding our Pay What You Can ticket program for our 40th Anniversary Season. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday a block of tickets will go on sale at noon for that day’s performance, and you pick the price. Whatever fits your budget, that’s what the ticket costs. Pay What You Can tickets are available until 7:00pm on weekdays and 2:30pm on Sundays, or until they sell out – whichever comes first.

Tickets are generally only available in-person at our box office, and we recommend getting here early for more popular shows as these tickets can sell fast. However, if getting down here in the middle of the day presents a barrier – accessible transportation, childcare, etc – simply call the box office at 416-975-8555 and we’ll hold a Pay What You Can ticket for you that you can purchase when you arrive to see the show.

For more information, including Group Rates and Rush Ticket policies, click here.

Artist Talks

Our Artist Talks are a chance to dig deeper into the ideas that inform the shows in our 2018-19 Season with key members of the creative team.

For Shove It Down My Throat, we are hosting two artist talks with playwright Johnnie Walker and the real-life inspiration for the play Luke O’Donovan. Johnnie and Luke will talk about the creative process they’ve been involved with over the past five years alongside members of the cast that have brought their story to life.

Artist Talks will happen after the matinee performances on Sunday, April 7 and Sunday, April 14.

The conversation will be moderated by Johnnie’s long-time collaborator Morgan Norwich.

“Ultimately, Shove It Down My Throat doesn’t aim to actually answer these questions — instead, it forces us to consider that when it comes to incidents like Luke O’Donovan’s, the answer is more complicated than what we’ve been trained to believe.”
CBC Arts piece

“Bodies in conflict; bodies at war. I want to show people those bodies. I want them to see what it would look like to be surrounded by five adult men who don’t care if they kill you. I wanted to see for myself.”
Artist Perspective for Intermission

“If we wanna go to the deep and dark and scary places, jokes are the torches that will light our way.”
Interview with DobberNationLoves



Relaxed Performance

Relaxed Performances are designed to welcome audience members who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment.

This performance model is specifically designed for folks on the Autism Spectrum or people who live with Tourettes, delayed learning, or cognitive disabilities. However, Relaxed Performances also provide an alternative option for people living specific traumas, people whose bodies can’t stay still for long periods of time, young children, and other folks who would enjoy a more relaxed theatre-going experience.

A Relaxed Performance removes common triggers such as strobe lights and startling stage effects and has a relaxed attitude towards audience members making sounds during the performance or exiting/re-entering the theatre, and introduces audience members to the show with a more comprehensive pre-show introduction to characters, story, and content.

A relaxed performance will be held on Sunday, April 7 at 2:30 PM.  You can book $10 tickets in advance using the code “RP10” at checkout. Pay-what-you-can tickets will also be available at the door.

Click here to view the visual story for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s venue.
Click here to view the visual story for Shove It Down My Throat.

Founded in 2009, Pandemic Theatre is a Toronto-based company mandated to create, develop, and produce work from critical and underrepresented perspectives that engage social and political themes. Our work is to challenge the role of aesthetics in a broader ideology. We strive to create spaces where political discourse is not only possible, but encouraged.

Pandemic’s work has toured across Canada and internationally, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nova Scotia, Vancouver, Calgary, Kingston, Ottawa-Gatineau, and Sibiu (Romania).


On Luke O’Donovan

Buy Tickets


Whether you want to see just one show or keep coming back for more, Buddies has affordable ticket options that are right for you. Many shows have Rush Tickets during the week and Pay-What-You-Can shows every Sunday, and you can save even more when you sign up for Buddies Rewards.

Click here to learn more about all the ways to save at Buddies

Get $25 tickets for any performance of Shove It Down My Throat when you book early – prices go up March 22.