Benet Catty Productions

Reanimator The Musical - Edinburgh 2012

Aug 21, 2012

Assembly George Square

Fans of headless, operatic corpses attempting to perform cunnilingus on the half-naked daughter of a zombie played by George Wendt need look no further than this extravagantly ridiculous musical by Stuart Gordon and Mark Nutter -- a brilliant, late-night guilty pleasure of a show.

This extraordinary 90 minutes begins with screaming, then has someone's eye explode onto the front row of the audience (protective gear supplied) and then flashes back for a chorus number which blends Wagner and the teddy bear's picnic.

A young Frankenstein figure tries to bring people and animals back to life and mayhem ensues. Full of cartoon violence, some clever sleights of hand and surprisingly complicated melodies and pastiches, it is better written than Zombie Prom; a crazy cocktail of Rocky Horror Show and Bugsy Malone.

Amongst the terrific all-American cast, Graham Skipper and Jesse Merlin are especially, wonderfully bonkers. Any show where someone says "I should probably call it a night, I'm lobotomising a chimp first thing in the morning" is alright by me.

The production, heavy with blackouts, isn't nearly slick enough in this Edinburgh incarnation (it premiered to acclaim in America) but is performed with relentless zeal. This is certainly a Marmite show. If you haven't got a sense of humour, you won't like it. If you have you will.

Be braver than I was, though, and sit in the front row.

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