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Monty Leigh

Review: HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL at the Tara Theatre then the Pleasance Dome at Edinburgh Fringe

House on Haunted Hill Self proclaimed ‘professional idiots’ The Lampoons revive their re-imagining of William Castle’s 1959 American Film Horror “The House On Haunted Hill” – a film starring Vincent Price who offers a $10,000 prize to five strangers if they are able to survive one night at his haunted house. The Lampoons are off to Edinburgh, and I highly encourage you add them to your list.

Entering into the theatre, we are told to grab fistfuls of ping pong balls and everyone’s seat has the little gift of a full water pistol. This is a very clever move –as The Lampoons have already encouraged their audience to be prepared for a lot of silliness – do not be afraid to attack when necessary. We are greeted by Vincent Price, in fact - four differently moustached versions of him - as the actors seemingly cannot make up their mind who is playing him today. Josh Harvey, Christina Baston, Oliver Malam and Adam Elliott creatively flick between insane characters throughout, whilst also maintaining the idea that they are merely struggling actors telling a ghoulish tale.

Baston, for example, apparently has an agent here in the audience tonight – therefore is determined to finish her impressive dramatic monologue, even if it is completely irrelevant to the show. Josh Harvey is determined to get a takeaway and explain his broken foot, again even if it is completely irrelevant to the show. What develops is a hilarious atmosphere where the audience not only get fully invested into a tale about a haunted house, but also get fully invested in the very talented bunch on stage.

The show itself, was side-splittingly funny. When you think you have recovered from the last moment of hilarity, the Lampoons throw something else utterly ridiculous your way. One moment I was sat watching someone’s hand be turned into acid - and the next there was a Portuguese Ghost Cat dancing across the stage. You read that correctly, a dancing cat.

Either with pickles in mouths (or on their face) or water flying at them (or ping pong balls) this talented cast deliver one hell of a funny show. The Lampoons have created something completely unique and deliver it with precision and brilliant timing. If you are in Edinburgh – I urge you to get yourself to see this bizarre mash up of horror and clowning, I can only imagine the amount of pints they will cause to drop over the month!