Mistress To The Midnight – Old Red Lion, London

Writer: Dirty White Boys, Jacob Lovick

Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty

A fun hour of gags and pastiche brings to mind the horrors of the Hammer Horror movies. Energetically executed, this spoofy homage to the schlocky genre contains all the ham-acting and clunky plot lines you would expect and is unapologetic in it’s choice of schlocky genres to tribute.

Set as a movie-club presentation of a long lost film from “Anvil” studios (which burned down in mysterious circumstances) we move from a three-man intro (with 70’s variety show-worthy jokes to boot) to the play proper – the film itself. The action takes place in a made up, spooky sounding country to which a young lawyer has been called to handle a land dispute. The comedy twosome, Dirty White Boys (Jack Robertson and Chazz Redhead) are joined for this outing by Jacob Lovick. Playing a range of characters, they transport us to the small village near the Chateau Mapants which has the potential for horror and hilarity written all over it. Whilst there, the legal-eagle encounters the creepy lady of the house, her “zapples”, fondness for clockwork, and a hideous monster kept captive in the cellar… among other things.

There is, in honesty, nothing special about the writing or the story. It’s funny, as you may expect from a sketch comedy group, but it’s superficial and relies on some fairly cheap laughs. But surely that’s the point. If we are to judge it on regular theatre standards, we risk overlooking the pleasure of an hour glorifying the high-volume and high-kitsch productions coming out of Bray Studios for decades.

Slap-dash, rolling with the punches, easy jokes which create genuine laughs and some funny over-the-top characters. Multiple characters for each performer are handled smoothly, and through all the silliness there’s a genuine feeling of spookiness that starts to emerge. Silly storylines and pound-hop “horror” make up are the essential elements to a lot of these pulpy horror films and these elements are all present here.

The three actors do a fine job with their knowing (and loving) wink towards a fairly silly film genre. It’s a bit of a love note to a classic genre but, unfortunately, will never come close to being a classic itself. It’s certainly a good advertisement for the comedy style and talent of the group behind it though.

Runs until 25 October 2018 | Image: Reviews


Review Overview

The Reviews Hub Score

Spoofy Fun

The Reviews Hub - London

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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