Monday, April 22

Nightmares – London Horror Festival Online

Produced by Shock Horror Theatre and written and directed by and also starring Joseph Helsing, “Nightmares” is a one man show, described as a horror musical about a man plagued by nightmares.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a nightmare to watch.

I try very hard to find positives in every show I review but I simply cannot find anything good to say about this.

The character is in a cellar, sleeping on a quilt (which Helsing kept slipping on and falling over). He has repetitive nightmares. In one corner there is a skeleton. There are also two other bodies. We eventually glean – over a very long hour – that he has killed his wife and his brother because they were having an affair.

Helsing’s acting is over the top, cringeworthy and unconvincing, as is the dialogue. There are long pauses where nothing happens, and it is really boring. There was no movement around the very limited set: he just stood there, looking around him. There was no atmosphere.

I did wonder at one point whether it was all a huge joke and not meant to be taken seriously as I don’t see how anyone could take it seriously. However, if it was a joke, it failed on that level also as I didn’t laugh once.

The cellar is lit by blue/red light, so it is very dim and unclear. The filming is wobbly but not in a Blair Witch way, in a very amateur, can’t hold the camera still, way.

The editing is poor, with jerky cuts to the filming and the sound editing is no better.

There was gratuitous, excessive swearing and also sexual violence and language which was way over the top but ludicrously performed in a very juvenile manner, clearly attempting to shock as much as possible. It didn’t shock me; it was just puerile.

The overall effect was unprofessional and clumsy. I was bored and I had no interest in the story or what was going to happen.

The story itself could have had a little credibility if it had not been performed and produced in such an amateurish way but it would also need some drastic changes to the writing.

Reviewer: Nicky Lambert

Reviewed: 28th October 2021

North West End UK Rating: