Writer: Joseph Emms
Reviewer: Tom Ralphs
If you’re going to go over the top, do it in style. That appears to be the thinking behind 21st Century Cox’s Edinburgh show. Billed as a blood-filled cocktail of stage combat, live music and impractical effects, with dancing Nazis, transsexual robots and vampires on scooters, all thrown in for good measure, it’s a show that does nothing by halves.
Osric Omand is a mad scientist in a spoof Frankenstein way. His mission was to prove that monsters and humans could live together in the same world. The love of his life was Hope, a female he created from assorted dead body parts. His nemesis, Sarcour the vampire had other plans and years later still wants to kill Osric.
To defend himself Osric has to rely on his gay former-Nazi caretaker, Hans and Alice the Vampire bounty hunter, who actually is a vampire and who is not Osric’s greatest fan given that he promised to give her freedom many years ago and has continually failed to do so.
Not that the story is really crucial to the production. It’s simply a means to push everything up to 12 and bring in an endless range of daft jokes, mock fights, choreographed slapstick and musical numbers that could have come from The Producers or Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Emms knows that the plot is ridiculous and that he is using every theatrical ploys and device he can think of to tell the story. He cleverly acknowledges and plays on this at various points, including the script being described as both riddled with plot holes and Lynchian in its structure. Both could actually be true.
It’s a bit rough around the edges in places, but that’s part of its charm. The cast, headed by Emms as Osric with Matthew Miles Emma Beth Jones, Elizabeth Back and Oliver Swinton are all multi-talented and demonstrate their versatility throughout the show. Something this stupid takes great intelligence and comic awareness to pull off, and they do this in style. It deserves to have a long life beyond the fringe.
Runs until 18 August 2018 | Image: Contributed