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 to play the piano, as I’m sure he could give Les Dawson a run for his money (If he were alive and had any money), excels at doing things badly. At one point he pulls an Oreo biscuit from his pocket, his most expensive prop, ‘twenty quid this cost me, from David Blaine, online obviously’. He munches on the biscuit before it pops back into shape. He holds it out to the audience to show the workings of the prop.
I liked his telling of the Goldilocks and the three Bears story, where he questions ‘what sort of bank would give three bears a mortgage’, only to be outdone by an audience member who immediately shouts back, ‘Santander bear’.
It is funny and rubbish at the same time. Can you be struck off by the magic circle?!
If you like your humour a bit mad, irreverent and laid back with a splash of faux-magic thrown in, this could be the very show for you.
Reviewer: Greg Holstead
Reviewed: 29th October 2023
North West End UK Rating: