Review Edinburgh Fringe Dan Willis The Walking Dead and Paul Gannon Ain't Afraid of No Ghost

Dan Willis: The Walking Dead

Dan Willis at The City Cafe

There have been of late many zombie themed shows at the Fringe, some are good, some excellent and some terrible.  And we have here another one - but which camp will it fall in to?

Let's be honest here- the zombie apocalypse is coming at soem point so anything that helps us survive it has to be a good thing.  There are lots of films and source material about zombies, some of it contradictory, so Willis narrows his view of zombies down, largely to The Walking Dead, but also taking in Zombieland, 28 Days Later and many others.  Most of the show relies on interaction between the audience and Willis - for example I was asked what the best weapon I had in my house would be - I fudged as I didn't want to get into a disussion on what a truffle stick was! We were also asked to think about the best defensive position for our group of survivalists - everyone seemed to forget the rather large castle a few hundred yards from where we were...  And then one memer of teh audience was asked to choose from a list of celebrities to make a survival team.  I won't prime you with who the choices are but if you had the person choosing that we did you would realise that we are all dead.  Or as the badge handed out at the end of the show remined us - we're all just zombie food.

All told it was zombies and it was presented in a fun and laid back manner.  Part of the Free Fringe and as far as I can tell the best zombie survivalist show on the Fringe this year.


Paul Gannon Ain't Afraid of No Ghost

Just the Tonic at The Caves

Ok, let's be honest.  Who, after watching Ghostbusters, didn't want to have that as their job?  Well, Paul Gannon actually carried that dream through, respect to him for that.  And he's here to tell us all about it.

He started off with just an average, ordinary obsession - collecting all the toys and keeping them to this day, who hasn't done that?  I sit here writing this as someone surrounded by an unfeasibly large number of daleks.  So, he's a geek, nothing wrong with that.  And his passion helped him through some personal hard times.  And it saw him travelling to the States in search of Ghostbusters locations, again to help him through some personal hard times.  And when it was suggested he involve himself in something to help him out of some personal hard times he went for ghost hunting.  The real deal.  Most Haunted was suitably devoured, hours upon hours spent in some of the most allegedly haunted locations in the country using EMF meters, night vision goggles, hearing enhancers and gear that Ghostbusters could only dream of.  And eventually he was offered a chance to lead a theatre tour of ghost hunting with Chris Conway (eventually replaced with Derek Acorah) and Richard Felix.  All of these tales were told and more.  Some ghostly recordings as well.  And all told in a pleasant and relaxed manner.  It's amusing enough, it passes the time, it's interesting but it's not a belly laugh comedy and did we really need to have all of the personal hard times stories?  At times it seemed as if this whole show might be an attempt at a cathartic healing.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, it's not a bad show, so if you want a personal approach to ghost hunting with some laughs, a logical progression and a likeable enough presenter then pop along to this, there are much, much worse things on at the Fringe this year!



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