The House That Dripped Horror

Lodestar Theatre Company
Contemporary Urban Centre, Greenland Street
30th March - 3rd April 2010

Reviewed by Amy Scott-Samuel

Lodestar - the North West theatre troupe renowned for their award-winning Shakespearean adaptations - have shot forward a few hundred years in time to present The House That Dripped Horror, a three part comedy based on the cult B-movie of 1950s Hollywood cinema. A typically low budget film with basic sets, costume and props, the B-movie was characterised by hammy performances and oftentimes gory, freakish or futuristic narratives. As the bottom half to a Hollywood feature, the B-movie was unburdened by the glamour and expense of the Hollywood film, and thus championed a DIY, craft-driven, free-thinking approach.

The House That Dripped Horror combines the B-movie's classic qualities, offering its audiences a cheap slice of American ham, wit and thrill. Performed in the spooky crypt of Liverpool's Novas Centre, the performance is made up of three comedy spoof sketches.

Set in Blackpool, They Came From Venus follows a latent homosexual scientist and his over-zealous girlfriend as they attempt to save the planet from a unlikely breed of Venusians.

The Child of Dracula is narrated by the once-formidable Count Dracula. Having been zapped by Van Helsing - a punitive, leather-clad missionary - Dracula has morphed into the meagre form of a bat. Determined to the rid the world of the murderous Dracula and his family of blood thirsty ghouls, Van Helsing now searches for Dracula's son, an angsty teenage lad who tries to defy his blood-curdling urges and falls in love with a Brummie mortal.

The grand finale, which coins the show's title, follows a mildly eccentric couple, as they search for the house that has been haunting the young woman's dreams. Here they encounter a host of strange and freakish characters, including a elderly hunchbacked cleaning lady and a blood-stained groundsman with a foreboding nature. As the characters explore the nooks and crannies of these creepy dwellings, they uncover the ghastly secrets that lie within its cobwebbed walls...

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