Pros: Enthusiastic, funny and with monsters galore. Leave your serious side at the door and get silly.
Cons: Ok, so it’s not going to win any Baftas but it’s a decent show of its genre which could benefit from some more refining.
Described as an ‘interactive horror-comedy’ this show scores highly for enthusiasm by the players. As soon as the lights go down you are thrown into life at The Institute in the middle of a breakout of monsters but, rest assured, you will have been provided with the appropriate ‘weapons’ to defend yourself from the creatures.
Osric Omand, played with gusto by Joseph Emms, leads the cast and audience through the thrills and spills of this hour-long show. In time-honoured tradition he is aided by a somewhat odd assistant, played brilliantly here by Nick Bradley. The kick-ass, love interest role is filled by Ruby Confue who makes a great budget Kate Beckinsale and David Robert Olley takes on the mantle of the inevitable arch nemesis.
I don’t want to give too much away but suffice to say if you normally baulk at the thought of audience participation you are in safe hands here. Enjoy the vampires, werewolves, demonic possession, extensive fight scenes, restorative serums, severed limbs and an occasional Sinead O’Connor song. One of the highlights was some ballet dancing action by Mr Bradley bravely wearing a pair of rather brief gold shorts. I’m not really sure how it fitted into the storyline but it certainly added something special!
Osric Omand is a clever blend of traditional horror crossed with pantomime and presented in the style of a student production. This isn’t meant as a criticism; it doesn’t take itself too seriously and benefits as a result. Clearly produced on a shoe-string budget this doesn’t diminish the show and quite possibly adds charm. With some more work this could have the potential to become a show with a cult following.
I found myself grinning and laughing throughout along with the rest of the appreciative audience. My theatre buddy and I had arrived heavy with work and city stress but left at the end buoyant and happy.
Author/Director: Joseph Emms
Producer: The Quills of Change
Booking Until: This production has now ended.