Popcorn was one of the biggest hits at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2001, and the Number 1 Show at C venues.
Winning 9 rave reviews of 11 published, and playing to capacity or near-capacity houses from previews through to the end of the 25-show run, Popcorn was one of the must-see shows of the year, playing to ecstatic houses, queues for returns and several partial standing-ovations.
In Ben Elton's Olivier-Award-winning Popcorn, based on his best-selling novel, Bruce Delamitri, a Tarantinoesque director, returns home from winning an Oscar for a violent movie to find that two serial killers are waiting for him. They want him to take the blame for the crimes on national television and save them from the electric chair. A hostage situation develops, ensnaring not only Bruce but the Playboy centrefold he picked up at the Oscars, his daughter, his wife, his producer and a semi-naked TV crew. A tense stand-off on live television follows, in which not everyone gets out alive.
Featuring freeze-framing, rewinding, replaying, over-dubbing and a hard rock soundtrack, this Edinburgh Festival Premiere production pulled no punches in its spectacular re-staging of the satirical thriller. The cast, direction and lighting all received special mention in the numerous glowing reviews.
The production also made the headlines of the Edinburgh Evening News, the Herald, Scot FM and several national newspapers when the controversial Lord Archer was revealed to have invested in the sell-out production.
Several years on, Popcorn remains the most acclaimed and one of the most popular of Benet Catty's productions.