Friday, February 23

Tag: The Banshee Labyrinth

Stand Up Horror – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Scotland

Stand Up Horror – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh

As Part of the Edinburgh Horror Festival, at The Banshee Labyrinth, Stand Up Horror sees actor, writer and tour guide Alex Staniforth concocting a wild and hilarious story on the spot from audience suggestions. The small size of the audience in the tiny bar space ensures that everyone has a chance to contribute and to feel part of the action, and this is perhaps the unique selling point of this unusual, brave and inventive show. Part dungeon master, part stand-up comedian, Staniforth relies on just a few props a very quick brain and a bit of nudging in the right general direction to move the story on apace, although it is never far away from taking a very sharp turn! As the programme alludes to, every show here is bound to be very different! Staniforth’s charisma and general ent...
The Ha Ha Horror Show – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Ha Ha Horror Show – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh

As Part of the Edinburgh Horror Festival, at The Banshee Labyrinth, The Ha Ha Horror Show draws a very small audience to a tiny bar, to a show that aims very low indeed and succeeds with aplomb! Advertised as ‘The return of the Great Mortar’, the mind-reading, fortune telling, death-defying magician. Unfortunately, the GM wasn’t feeling so great tonight, having been shot with a nail gun in a stunt that went wrong. In fact, he’s dead! This causes quite a bit of angst in the crowd, some of whom I’m convinced don’t realise that this is all part of the show, such is their show of concern. However, it all adds to the general confusion and hilarity. Anyway, stepping in at the last moment is the likeable Cooper-esque buffoon, Tom Short. Big Northern lad Short, I would have loved him...
Sycamore Grove – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Scotland

Sycamore Grove – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh

Dark magic, addiction and competitive home decorating underly the apparently genteel lives of two suburban couples. Charlotte (Rebecca Wilkie) and Colin (Nicholas Alban) are the proverbial Joneses that everyone tries to keep up with.  They have almost everything that their tiny minds have ever dreamed of – but they are struggling to conceive a baby. Hannah (Cara Watson) and Ben (Conor O’Durger) are not doing so well.  Ben is struggling at work and desperately trying to keep up appearances. When Charlotte and Colin explain their secret, he is intrigued. Our Stepford couple reveal that they have decorated their home with mysterious symbols that have been used to alter reality since ancient times. They draw Ben into their cult, and he attributes his increasing success to the ...
The Ritual – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Ritual – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh

As Part of the Edinburgh Horror Festival, at The Banshee Labyrinth just off Edinburgh’s ghostly Royal Mile, The Ritual draws a sell-out, expectant audience to the fifty-seater underground vault that is The Chamber Room. Talking to the queue beforehand, I find one acolyte who is back to see the show for the 13th time, who swears that the first viewing changed her life. By the end of a very quick hour, I can see why this classic double act, Steffens Hanes as ‘The Master’ and Gregory Lass as his stumbling, crouching, fawning servant ‘Gregor’, are in the process of assembling an almost cult-like following. They are just brilliant. Good Clowning requires not acting but reacting. Hanes, half Norwegian, half Danish and a graduate of the Paris Clown Academy knows this and uses it to its utm...
The Shadow in the Dark – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Shadow in the Dark – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh

Edith Nesbit is best known as a writer of children’s fiction, but alongside her classic novels such as The Railway Children, she explored a variety of genres, including horror. The Shadow in the Dark is comprised of spoken word adaptations of several such stories, told by a trio of actors. Edith (Rebecca Hale) sits at a wax cylinder machine, surrounded by candles.  She speaks into the recording device, telling us of her memories of childhood, and of how she became afraid of the dark. Hale’s Edith speaks in the way I always imagined she would. In her crisp accent, she is soothing and deliberate. She gives the impression that she is telling a bedtime story, but the atmosphere is sinister. In The Mummies at Bordeaux, she tells of a creepy childhood encounter in a charnel house, th...
Dr Bonk’s Macarbaret – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Scotland

Dr Bonk’s Macarbaret – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh

As Part of the Edinburgh Horror Festival, at The Banshee Labyrinth just off Edinburgh’s ghostly Royal Mile Dr Bonk’s Macarbaret promises an evening of drag, burlesque, music, comedy and medical mayhem. Dr. Bonk, imagine a more creepy and cookie version of Mr Bean if you will, unspeaking and with a white leather beak-like gimp mask. Prompted by a script read from the back of the room, the reason for this being…unclear? The demographics in the 50-seater underground chamber are interesting, 90% female and average age of twenty-something. The bird-faced Bonk is an odd-looking character who prods and pokes various audience members with his stethoscope and at one point removes the earwax from one rather uneasy looking young lady to create an instant candle. Which drew some nervous la...
The Haunted Haus: Adamas Family Values – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Haunted Haus: Adamas Family Values – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh

As Part of the Edinburgh Horror Festival, at The Banshee Labyrinth just off Edinburgh’s ghostly Royal Mile, April Adamas international drag legend (it says here!) and friends are certainly on the ‘Rocky’ side of Horror as they strut and lip-synch their way at (time)warp speed towards the witching hour. Chaotic, amateur, energetic, edgy. In a performance that started twenty minutes late and with performers outnumbering audience at the start this got off to a bad start, but certainly was a grower, to the point an hour later the 40-seater venue was full to bursting point and rocking big style. The infeasible lithe April and friends certainly put on a show, dramatic and well-choreographed, gymnastic and high octane and with April’s ascetic wit (like a latter-day Lily Savage) just ab...
Devil In The Belfry – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Scotland

Devil In The Belfry – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh

Part of the Edinburgh Horror Festival, at The Banshee Labyrinth just off Edinburgh’s ghostly Royal Mile, Edgar Allan Poe’s short tale is vividly reincarnated by the brilliant David Robb in partnership with the assured touch of director Flavia D’Avila. All seems well in the town of Vondervotteimittiss (wonder-what-time-it-is), somewhere in the mountains of Holland (?), where the clock is king and the cabbage is queen, until a fiddle playing stranger comes a calling. With rubber face and equally lithe body, Robb with just a handful of props shows just what can be achieved with very little indeed but with quite a bit of help from an entranced audience, who, with varying levels of enthusiasm, take on the role of central character Handel Fledermaus. Handel, whose parents were unfo...
Tarmac Lullaby – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Scotland

Tarmac Lullaby – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh

Part of the five-day long Edinburgh Horror Festival, at The Banshee Labyrinth just off Edinburgh’s ghostly Royal Mile. A suitably dark and stormy night saw me head out for a Labyrinthine hat trick of horror. First up, written by Daniel Orejon for his theatre company Crested Fools, this one-woman show looses its way a little by being way too wordy for its own good. Often the simplest stories told well work out the best. A flow chart showing all of the characters featured in the stories and their relationships would have been handy. A chance meeting in a car park brings together two old schoolteacher friends, and soon they are recounting stories from the past, but these are not cosy school stories, these are tales of blood-weeping daughters, abusive relationships, a foul-mouthed m...