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Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Re-Animator The Musical

Red Hen Productions, The Schramm Group LLC and Gramily Entertainment

Genre: Musical Theatre


 Assembly George Square 


Low Down

Are you a fan of horror movies and Glee? If you are (and believe me there is a fair cross-over in these fanbases) this is the show for you. Are you are a fan of the trashy gory 1980s horror film Re-Animator or the writer HP Lovecraft (on whose work the film is based? Then this is the show for you. Do you just love to have a good time, laugh until your sides ache and take part in a true Fringe experience? Yep  this is the show for you     


I’ll nail my colours to the wind early on here but I suspect this is my show of the Fringe for sheer enjoyment.  

Other than in Edinburgh in August where in the world do you get so many theatre and entertainment professionals together in one place looking for the next original thing…and originality is hard to find.  For me the Fringe has always been about experiencing and giving a future life to shows that just might not get understood or picked up anywhere else.

And funnily giving life back to things is what Re-Animator the Musical is all about…kind of.

Based on the wonderful 1985 horror movie Re-Animator (that has spawned 5 sequals) which is itself based on the short story by HP Lovecraft about Dr Herbert West and his discovery of a serum that can bring the dead back to life…one problem they come back a little angry…pretty angry zombies.

Here one of the cult classics of horror is re-made as a chamber musical with a uniformly strong cast (including George Wendt of Cheers fame) of actors, singers and musicians who play it as straight as they can…even when a zombie cat with a broken back is dancing and singlng along with them (and stealing the scene).

The film is gory and so is the show…ponchos are on the front seats in the ‘splash zone’ for a reason and that reason is not a bit of water …this is theatre 3D.

The stage make-up is stunning and true to the original film as I would expect when the original director Stuart Gordon has been involved from the start. Rocky Horror show was a musical based on the writers love of and homage to the classic horror films of the 1930s. This is a worthy successor (finally) – it melds the originality of the film with the classic structure of a chamber musical without  compromising either and creates a show of sheer enjoyment along the way.  

I saw the show in preview and there were a few technical hitches but it did not take away my enjoyment one bit . Fresh from New York  and already a long-running cult classic in Los Angeles even if you are not a fan of horror but just a fan of a bloody good time go and see this show.

I’m going back and this time I’m sitting in the splash zone.