Thursday, November 30

Tales from the Tombstone Tavern: Wolfgang – Ameena Hamid Productions Ltd

Episode 3 of Tales from the Tombstone Tavern, the new six part podcast series written by Delmar Terblanche and directed by Jamie Boucher, takes a violent plunge into the slasher genre, with a gruesome camp-side tale narrated by Wolfgang the Wolfman (Percival Fagent).

The episode opens where we last left our group of classic monsters, with Annie, the Mummy (Sena Bryer) still enthusiastically discussing the darker sides of biology to the delight of Wolfgang and the equal disgust of Vlad Dracul (Joshua Manning). Vlad takes advantage of his supernatural powers and hypnotises Wolfgang to force a change of subject which Lady Shirley Edith James, the Wailing Woman (Anna Chedham-Cooper) eagerly supplies.

But the vampire’s effect on Wolfgang does not last and he is soon once again declaring that ghosts are boring and returns to his original point about The Shining, saying that no one would remember the film without the axe. Ghosts, Lady Shirley vehemently states, create all of the atmosphere, but Wolfgang insists they merely fade into the background and goes on to reinforce his point with a gory tale of slash horror.

Wolfgang begins a couple of stories with overused and predictable tropes, much to the disgust of his companions, before settling on his pre-teen campsite horror story set by a lake in Oregon. Admitting a lakeside camping resort is another stereotype, Wolfgang declares that settings are used over and over for a reason and continues.

The story opens with Dennis, the camp counsellor, telling the children a gruesome, ghostly tale before bedtime, and Wolfgang then follows two of the children, Martin and Louis, who decide to go for a walk before lights out. The boys discuss the story and the possibilities of something coming true if you only repeat it often enough.

This story has some lovely wry commentary on politics and life in the modern world which provide a nice humorous twist to what is a very gory work of fiction. Wolf sound effects nicely link back to our narrator and the realistic sickening sound effects used are breathtaking and take the level of horror up a notch. The cast deserve particular praise for this episode for their excellent vocal performances which create a real sense of panic and hysteria.

Wolfgang’s story is not well received by his audience, who declare it vulgar but as a work of horror it is very effective and extremely fitting with Fagent’s loud and obnoxious portrayal. It is clear by the end that both the story and its core message have our monsters rattled and perhaps not everything is as it seems within the walls of the Tombstone Tavern.

Tales from the Tombstone is being released every two days at 12pm until Saturday 31 October and is available wherever you listen to podcasts.

Reviewer: Donna M Day

Reviewed: 25th October 2020

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★