It's Halloween this week, and what better way to give yourself the fright of your life than by attending the world premiere of Edred, the Vampyre?
The play has an impeccable gothic pedigree, created by David Pinner, who wrote Ritual, the inspiration for The Wicker Man.
Edred (Martin Prest), louche and menacing, is a thousand years old and, unlike other vampires, lives in a church and loves garlic. However, he is disparaging about Catholic communion wine, preferring his own version. (as any vampyre would).
One night, he is disturbed by the arrival of gap-year students Elizabeth (Zari Lewis) and Jacques (James Hoyles) seeking him out in his church.
Their exploration of history, including Edred's time as an Anglo-Saxon king and sleeping with William Shakespeare (he didn't bite him, though), moves between humour and menace, before the two young people are led to realise a terrifying truth.
The dialogue is tight and quick, with plenty of humour along with suspense and menace. The casting is spot on - all characters are convincingly played and the chemistry between them is maintained as the mood of the play shifts rapidly between humour and horror.
A night with genuine nightmares behind the scary fun.
Edred, the Vampyre, directed by Anthony Shrubsall and produced by Sarah Lawrie, is at the Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John St, Islington, London, EC1V 4NJ, until Saturday 2 November. Performances are at 7.30pm, Saturday matinee 3pm, and running time is 70 minutes (no interval). Suitable for ages: 14+. £16.50/£14.50
Warning: Strong language, mild sexual references and strobe lighting.
For more details see: www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk/shows.html
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