It’s Halloween week so what could be better than to be the onlookers on Kill the Beast’s newest innovation, their unapologetically comic horror, Director’s Cut.
It’s the 1970’s and work is underway on, thankfully, the final scene of a satanic scary movie, destined to go down in the annals of time for being the worst movie ever made. ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ meets ‘Rosemary’s Toddler.’ ‘The Devil Rides Out’ meets ‘The Magic Roundabout.’ The award-winning creators of The Boy Who Kicked Pigs, He Had Hairy Hands and Don’t Wake the Damp return to The Lowry just in time for Halloween with a brand-new tale of Hollywood Hobgoblins and hysterics.
In just 80 minutes we are witness to the frantic direction and camera rolling of Wallis Byrne Mattavers’ (Ollie Jones). The untimely death ‘was it an accident’? of the female lead Vivienne Stone, means that an urgent reshoot must take place. Money is running out and with no big bucks for extra studio time and with a huge movie epic, complete with camels and horses, snapping at their heels to vacate the studio, the hapless and absurd cast are under pressure.
With the purposefully built wobbly film set, Kill the Beast Theatre Company, directed and designed by Clem Garritty, has intentionally created the topsy turvy world of badly fitting doors, rocky walls and rickety portraits. The video screens placed at either side of the stage, add an extra dimension as the audience can be privy to what goes on ‘off film set’ allowing for more hilarity as David Cummings (Vivienne, Laura, Ronnie – to name but a few of his characters) dances with the deathly ghost of the dear departed and devilish 50’s star Vivienne.
All four actors play an array of roles with uncannily swift costume changes. While lovers of gore and fright nights might find the scary element of this production somewhat tame, the comedy timing and farcical elements entertain us wonderfully. There are surprises however, as well as plot tangles, as lust envelopes two of the cast, and there’s a chimpanzee in the love triangle. With comedic throw away lines “Should you choose a life mate or a primate?” “You are an actress darling, you can’t do real work” and “Opening the door doesn’t work emotionally” this shamelessly silly production is a joy to behold.
Will the erstwhile Wallis ever receive an Oscar, or will he be found with one buried in his head? Can anything ghoulish really be waiting in the dark? Will he finally be able to utter those golden words “It’s a wrap.”
Of course, there is the inevitable musical finale, of course there is, no almost completed Hollywood film would be lacking one was not provided! The Directors Cut brazenly provides us with laughs a plenty, it is a ridiculous triumph, leaving the audience a little bewildered, catching their breath but thoroughly entertained.★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Kill The Beast: Director’s Cut is at The Lowry, Salford Quays from 30-31 October 2019. The show has an age recommendation of 12-plus.
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