Simon Shaw’s unsettling one man horror show based on the infamous serial killer Ed Gein is one very intense ride. Gein (Shaw), who was mother dominated for most of his life, was the influence for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie Psycho and also inspiration for many horror films since then.
As you would probably expect, this show is not for the faint hearted and Shaw pulls out all the stops in his powerful performance. During the course of the show Shaw’s character moves through many transitions and the attention to detail in Shaw’s well-judged performance is excellent throughout.
This is totally gruesome stuff and quite unrelenting. If you are a horror fan (which I am) you’ll be morbidly fascinated by his “conversations” with his persistently screaming and angry mother as we begin to realise that this all going on in his head. The scenes with skeletons and human face masks are particularly gruesome so you’ve have been duly warned!!
The set is basic, but good and the lighting and off-stage sound effects just add to the deeply unsettling atmosphere of the piece.
It’s a fascinating horror show, not everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure, but it’s a great example of the theatre of the grotesque.
Available until 30th August 2021 – On demand from Edinburgh Fringe Festival at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/under-the-floorboards
Reviewer: Kiefer Williams
Reviewed: 14th August 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★