Terror 2011 - Terrible or Terrific?
Terror 2010 at the Southwark Playhouse last year was terrifically terrible but I will always give things a second chance. This year's theatrical homage to the spooky hallowe'en season has moved to the new downstairs cabaret space as the Soho Theatre and the show has moved more cabaret in style too.
Seated around tables, it is a series songs, monologues and two-handers and one slightly odd burlesque sequence and a little bit of dance all with love as the theme. The performances spill out into the audience and at times participation in the songs is encouraged.
Not all of it works. There is some hammy acting and that burlesque sequence which involved the 'artiste' messily dying just wasn't my thing.
But there are some entertaining bits. Some darkly funny songs (yes me liking songs - not all of them mind) of which I particularly liked the one which was a love song about Fred and Rosemary West - a slightly sick sense of humour helps. The two monologues are also very good, both macabre and disturbing stories but well told and engaging.
Some of it does seem a little a contrived to give an excuse to turn the lights off and for the actors to creep around the audience. If you are of a nervous disposition probably best not to sit around the edges (it's unallocated seating).
The seating arrangement gave some people the notion that it was OK to get up and visit the loo but it didn't seem to matter too much. They've also tried not to over-egg it keeping it at 80 minutes long without an interval. It starts at 7.15pm leaving time to go off and do other things afterwards or get an early night if you are like me.
It's not particularly scary more about entertainment and amusement with a dark edge. All the vignettes are relatively short so the duff ones don't last long but as a package overall, I quite enjoyed it as something a little bit different and fun. Slightly difficult to rate as it can't be compared easily to traditional theatre but I'm going to give it three and a half stars.
Terror 2011 runs as the Soho Theatre until November 5.