21st. CENTURY POE
TheVault@Paradise Green 5 – 11 August 17.45
Marty Ross (BBC Radio horror; Doctor Who audio) drags Edgar Allan kicking & screaming into our era in a trilogy of storytelling performances!
"True! - nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?"
In virtually all the greatest chillers of Edgar Allan Poe, the same note is struck straightaway: an isolated, tormented narrator wants – needs! – to tell us of the strange and terrible experiences he has undergone. They are ideally suited, therefore, to contemporary theatre’s great comeback kid: live storytelling.
As a live theatrical storyteller with a flair for the gothic and macabre - an interest reflected in his parallel career as playwright for the likes of BBC radio’s “Marvellously chilling” (Guardian) Darker Side Of The Border, Ghost Zone & Catch My Breath, as well as Doctor Who and Dark Shadows audio drama - Marty Ross has seized upon the dramatic, theatrical potential of Poe’s tales. But as a storytelling ‘modernist’ keen to shift this resurgent art form away from traditionalist once-upon-a-time-in-a-land-far-away ‘folkiness’, he has no intention of presenting the Poe stories as period pieces: rather he has radically updated them to our times, reshaping them for that new context.
Therefore, FALLING FOR THE USHERS (5th, 8th, 10th August) shifts Poe’s incestuous siblings from their misty gothic manor to the world of Damien Hirst / Chapman Bros.– type contemporary art. HEART SHAPED HOLE (6th, 9th Aug.) sets Poe’s Tell Tale Heart beating amid Glasgow tower block drug dealing. And in LIGEIA – THIS IS (NOT) A LOVE SONG (7th. 11th Aug.), Poe’s revenant heroine becomes an 80s post-punk diva haunting an old band mate and a young female fan. Perverse passions, substance abuse, macabre humour, extreme violence… shift Poe from his olde worlde settings to our times and one is close to the world of David Lynch, William Burroughs, even Irvine Welsh.
These three hour-long stories alternate in ‘repertory’ between 5 – 11 August, all at 17.45 at The Vault @ Paradise Green, Market Street, Edinburgh – in performances far removed from the comfy-chair raconteur-ing of too many people’s clichés of live storytelling. Ross’s performance style is in-your-face, expressionist, intensely physical… more Theatre of Cruelty than Jackanory. He has already enjoyed success as a storyteller onstage at last year’s London Horror Festival and regularly performs in and around Nottingham, where he currently lives. Now it’s time to bring his unique, intensely theatrical style of performance home to his native Scotland.