An Evening with Professor von Goosechaser, written and performed by Adam Nightingale, is a mock lecture on the complex field of monsterology, and seeks to answer the question of whether or not the supernatural creatures plaguing the seventeenth century are real, or vicious anti-Catholic propaganda spun out by the Puritans.
The esteemed Professor is accompanied by Marco (Mark “el durmiente” Nightingale) a guitarist who plays in a beautiful fingerpicking style which emphasises the medieval mood of the show. Remaining comically nonplussed throughout, Marco’s bored demeanour and minimal responses emphasise the dry humour utilised throughout the piece.
The show makes wry nods to today’s world, including the presence of a plague, which the Professor says has come from demons. At the opening of the piece both the Professor and Marco are wearing the exaggerated masks worn in England by doctors during the Black Death, and use this to make amusing comparisons with the face masks being used today.
The Professor works through four types of supernatural creatures: monsters, ghosts, witches and wizards, going through each in terms with a story about them and pausing between each to play a round of Bed, Wed, Behead, with historical figures. Genuine historical events are used throughout the piece to give a sense of reality to the fantastical elements.
The Professor has an excellent presence and his view of the world is very funny, blending elements of today with the strong religious views of the early Stuart period. His loud and authoritative performance, contrasts well with Marco’s calm silence throughout the piece. The Professor builds up a sense of overwhelming horror and pairs this with dry anti-climax to create a very amusing piece of theatre.
An Evening with Professor von Goosechaser is a dramatic, tongue in cheek show, which is funny and entertaining. Jokes about religion, class, gender and the weather, create plenty of opportunities for self-deprecation and the beautiful musical interludes are excellent. This is an original enjoyable piece which blends history and the supernatural in an interesting way.
An Evening with Professor von Goosechaser is being streamed by Brighton Fringe until 12th July 2021. Tickets are available here https://www.brightonfringe.org/whats-on/an-evening-with-professor-edvard-von-goosechaser-152930/
Reviewer: Donna M Day
Reviewed: 25th June 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★