Deborah Hyde Interview With a Vampire Expert
Most shows at the Edinburgh Fringe are repeated but, like the Richard Wiseman event in the previous review, this talk is a one off but part of a series. So whilst you have missed this one there are others at the same time and same location.
Deborah Hyde is the current editor of the UK Skeptic Magazine and is making a welcome return to the Edinburgh Fringe. Last year she spoke on Werewolves and this year it was to be Vampires. But not especially the Vampire of the movie, and most definitely not the Twilight vampire. This was to be a talk on folkloric vampires and it included a quiz!
From their origins from the little understood way a human body decomposes through to plagues vampires have been woven into the human psyche for many centuries, particularly from the 18th onwards in the Balkan States, Greece, Turkey and associated areas. A dead body can still appear to have growing hair and nails, actually shrinkage of the skin due to water loss. A freshly exhumed corpse can show fresh blood around the lips - decomposition of the internal organs and the liquid remnants bubbling up. These and many other things that happen to a decomposing corpse can lead to people believing it to be undead. Similarly a spate of similar deaths must have a cause - obviously that strange old person who recently died and no one liked must be to blame. So instead of a plague wiping people out and corpses decaying you suddenly have a vampire myth.
But we weren't just treated to tales of vampires. For the more hardy amongst the audience there was the opportunity for other delights - delights such as vampires blood and the ashes of a vampire made into a drink. The latter of these was described as being not unlike alka sletzer.
I am unaware of any reports of blood drained corpses turning up on the streets of Edinburgh so I can only assume that these vampiric staples were not as effective as Hammer woud have us believe...
All told a most enjoyable evening with a charismatic speaker who clearly knows and loves her subject. I will leave it to you to insert jokes about getting her teeth into her research.
Death Ship 666 by Box Step Productions
A ship called Death Ship 666, on it's maiden voyage to the Bermuda Triangle. What could possibly go wrong? And to find out you have to get to the venue by 10.45, AM. A horrific thought during the Fringe.
In case you hadn't guessed this is a comedy which they describe as Titanic meets Airplane. Our entry into the venue was themed with those with tickets having the first class seats and those without the third class, ie those at the back.
From the start every character is familiar to us from the movies that have spwaned this lovingly crafted homage - the narrator is grandma - a young girl recently married and destined to have a child so they in turn can have a child, her husband the evil electrician John D'Eville Crapp Wirer and many other similarly named characters.
The production is gloriously over the top and the whole thing is a laugh a minute. The actors portray multiple characters - in a couple of instances at essentially the same time. For the sharp eared there are lines included from a myriad of movies - no prize for spotting them, just a warm, fuzzy glow. Bringing the production to Ediburgh was an example of crowd funding and for thsoe who decided to sponsor the show I woudl like to say a big thank you as without you I might not have seen this.
If you only plan on seeing one show about a doomed ship, with a date with an iceberg, full of evil electricians, handsome architects, sexy grandma's, rich couples, child sleuths and occassionally one eyed sea captains then this is the one for you. And it's got bears.