Horror Prom – Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London

Reviewer: Miriam Sallon

Organisers: Pop Horror

Walking in to the Royal Tavern as doors open, you’d be forgiven for thinking this night is going to be lacklustre, amateur and even boring, the ultimate sin for a night out. Decorations consist of some straggly tinsel, a few bloody limbs hanging by string from the ceiling and some curling red streamers, presumably intended to look like blood. Not exactly the prom of your dreams.

But Horror Prom isn’t about doing things right. In fact, the slap-dash, cobbled-togetherness of it is what makes it so brilliant.

Hosted this evening by Adam All and headmistress, Ms. Derrieres, the main aim of the evening is to find the Prom King and Queen which, to those who loath audience participation, sounds like a nightmare. But somehow, what with the participation being near-on enforced, it doesn’t seem so scary. If you really, really don’t want to you can quietly opt out, but there’s no need: you’re never alone on stage and the tasks are completely ridiculous enough that no-one looks especially cool, which sort of means that everyone looks cool! (Sort of.) For the sake of transparency, it should be noted that this reviewer did win the Goths’ limbo competition (how low can you go), but rest assured, the review remains impartial.

Audience activities are spliced between ‘educational’ montage presentations (warning against the dangers of sex during a horror movie, and such), and themed cabaret acts. First on, Evelyn Carnate sets the tone with an enthused but rubbish cheerleader act that attracts the cruel attentions of a prissy prom queen. Ms. Carnate promptly draws a knife, scalps her and then dons her hair and crown.

Another highlight of the evening is librarian, Oedipussi Rex who, with the help of the audience chanting “round and round, round and round”, summons the spirit of Bielzibus with a haunting rendition of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’.

Pop Horror has had a resident night at the Royal Vauxhall since 2016 and judging from last night’s performance, it’s a bit surprising that a bigger venue hasn’t tried to nab them. Naughty, unbridled, gloriously camp and welcoming to all, it’s hard to imagine who wouldn’t have the best time at Horror Prom.

Reviewed on 11 August 2022

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Naughty, camp, welcoming to all.

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The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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