21st Century Poe: Falling For The Ushers
Blood And Stone: A Lullaby For Elizabeth Bathory
Anyway, here's the press release:
21st. CENTURY POE: FALLING FOR THE USHERS
London Horror Festival
19.30, 31st. October 2013, Etcetera Theatre, Camden (Tickets £10)
Marty Ross (BBC Radio horror; Doctor Who audio) drags Edgar Allan kicking & screaming into the modern world – just in time for Halloween & the London Horror Festival!
In the horror tales of Edgar Allan Poe, the same opening note is struck again and again: an isolated, tormented narrator wants – needs! – to tell us of his strange experiences. They are ideally suited, therefore, to contemporary theatre’s great comeback kid, the most ancient and suddenly most modern form of narrative theatre: live storytelling. But Marty Ross, a storytelling ‘modernist’ keen to shift this resurgent form away from backward looking quaintness, has no intention of presenting Poe’s stories as period pieces: rather he radically updates them to our era – shifting the setting to his native Glasgow. Fresh from critical raves and full houses for three of his 21st. Century Poe stories at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Ross now brings his reinvention of Poe’s most famous tale to the London Horror Festival – on Halloween!
Well established as a playwright, particularly with dark drama for BBC radio (Ghost Zone, Catch My Breath, Darker Side Of The Border, this month’s Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk), plus Doctor Who & award-nominated Dark Shadows audio drama, as well as Blood And Stone, nominated for a 2012 Rondo Award (horror fandom’s Oscars) and also presented at this year’s London Horror Festival (Oct 30th), Marty Ross onstage is a whole dramatis personae in himself, using expressionistic mime and gesture as well as evocative words, shifting fluidly between the strange and troubling characters of his story - in which haunted, incestuous twins Roderick and Madeline Usher have left behind the misty gothic manor of the Poe tale to become superstars of the contemporary art world, thanks to their macabre conceptual installations in the manner of Damien Hirst and the Chapman Bros. But when Madeline’s old art school admirer Ed shows up, their tragic fall is as inescapable as ever….
Critics at the Edinburgh Fringe knew they had seen something special. Now London can see how cutting edge this most traditional form of theatre can be….
“Insanely good storytelling… a master craftsman who never turns down the pressure… Ross’ violently impressive performance make this a heart-pounding triumph… Trainspotting meets gothic horror….” – Broadway Baby *****
“Ross has a great aptitude for suspense and terror, and he hurls himself into his tale with energy and passion, in words which ring with Glasgow rhythm. An accomplished piece of work… a chilling conclusion.” – The Scotsman
“Visceral. A compelling narrator and onstage presence. … left you thinking as well as reeling… theatre that kept you on edge… an immensely entertaining ride that scared and shocked in equal measure – a fair ground ghost ride for the 21st Century….” – Fringe Review
“…What Marty Ross does with literature’s most mystical and macabre works is make them sing with new energy and beguile an audience all over again…. poetically re-worked ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ manages, in its modernisation, to preserve and revere the original, even intensifying its impact… a bewitchingly good story that leaves a haunting reminder long after the lights have gone down.” - 3 Weeks ****