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'Scare Slam': Horrific Comedy At The Pleasance

The ‘Scare Slam’ by ‘Blackshaw Theatre Company’ involved stories of horror comedy, which I have never seen before and didn’t know what to expect. This was a great way to showcase the talent from the London Horror Festival. I was not disappointed – it was a hilarious production. I didn’t think horror could be so funny!

Scare Slam poster, image courtesy of BBC Writers Room

The performance consisted of seven different people telling individual horror tales (Duncan Gates, Nikky O’Hare, Andrew James Brown, George Morris, Eleanor Verner, Reece Connolly and Mike Levanzin). One of the best aspects of the show was the compere, Ellie, who made funny comments in between the stories. At the end, she also read us some stories from a book which had the audience in fits of laughter, including one about a boy who had his thumbs chopped off as a punishment for sucking them.

All the performances were amazing, but the one I found the funniest was ‘The Bistro’ by Andrew James Brown. It was about a bistro which ran out of parma ham for a cold ham platter when a food critic was visiting. During a panic in the kitchen about how to solve the issue, someone ended up getting stabbed with a knife and their flesh fell into the frying pan. It looked remarkably like the parma ham they were missing when cooked, so they decided to serve it and the critic thoroughly enjoyed it. A plate of ham was being passed through the audience, which really bought the story to life. Yes, the experience was as strange as it sounds!

Some of the actors seemed nervous, and I was unsure whether this was part of the performance, considering they were exploring scary experiences, or if their nerves emerged during the monologues. There were also few props, apart from a smoke machine to set the spooky atmosphere. However, this did not matter; all that was needed to create the captivating performance was the intriguing content of the stories and their tone.

Overall, a fantastic production with a great range of stories, from supernatural activity and exorcism to the terrifying reality of working in a dislikable job and not fulfilling your dreams. A collection that was bound to resonate with a diverse audience. I have also now discovered a new love for horror comedy, and it put me in the mood to celebrate Halloween.

The festival continues until the 25th October at The Pleasance Theatre.

Edited by Charlee Kieser, Deputy Digital Editor

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