Friday, 27 March 2015

21st. CENTURY POE comes home... to Glasgow's Southside Fringe!

AT LAST! After all this time performing my storytelling shows everywhere from the Edinburgh Fringe to the London Horror Festival, I'm finally getting to take a couple of my 21st. Century Poe shows to my own neighbourhood, the centre of my spiritual universe, namely Glasgow's south side. I'll paste in below the details:


Southside Fringe 2015. The Bungo, Nithsdale Road, Glasgow.
8pm 9 & 10th. May Tickets £7 / £6



Marty Ross (BBC Radio horror; Doctor Who audio) drags Edgar Allan kicking & screaming into the modern world in a horror double bill 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, the most ancient and suddenly most modern form of narrative theatre: live storytelling.
As a theatrical storyteller with a flair for the Gothic and macabre - as 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 Moyamensing, his 2014 Halloween show for Radio Scotland, plus Doctor Who and award-nominated Dark Shadows audio drama - Marty Ross has seized upon the dramatic potential of Poe’s tales. But as a storytelling ‘modernist’ keen to shift this resurgent form away from once-upon-a-time-in-a-land-far-away ‘folkiness’, he has no intention of presenting Poe’s stories as period pieces: rather he has radically updated them to our era, both in plot & language – while shifting the setting to his native Glasgow: and now after having performed them to sell-out houses and five star reviews everywhere from the Edinburgh Fringe to the London Horror Festival, he brings his distinctly Glaswegian horror aesthetic home to Glasgow's south side for this year's Southside Fringe.
In line with this distinctive approach, FALLING FOR THE USHERS (Saturday 9th May) shifts Poe’s incestuous siblings from their misty Gothic manor to the world of Damien Hirst / Chapman Bros.– type contemporary art. But when an old friend from Glasgow School of Art shows up, the scene is set for a denoument as dark and tragic as that of the original story. On Sunday 10th. May, HEART SHAPED HOLE sets Poe’s Tell Tale Heart beating against a background of Glasgow tower block drug dealing, as young junkie on the make Stanley tries to murder his way to power, but can't escape that strange pounding in his head.... Perverse passions, substance abuse, macabre humour, murderous 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.
Ross' performances are 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. Those who have managed to overlook live storytelling till now have been ‘astonished’ at the theatrical intensity of his performances, as attested by the reviews below:

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 the native Glasgow rhythm... an accomplished piece of work which builds towards a chilling conclusion.” – The Scotsman - review by Claire Smith

“…poetically re-worked ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ manages, in its modernisation, to preserve and revere the original, even intensifying its impact. Marty Ross delivers a bewitchingly good story that leaves a haunting reminder long after the lights have gone down.” – 3 weeks: Review By Katharine Wootton


An insanely good piece of storytelling... Ross is a master craftsman who never turns down the pressure, painting vile pictures and weaving a grotesque spell. The tone is foul and relentless - Trainspotting meets Gothic horror…. Ross’ violently impressive performance make this a heart-pounding triumph which demands appreciation.” – Broadway Baby: Review by Gwen Sims-Williams

This was visceral. Marty Ross is a compelling narrator and onstage presence. … left you thinking as well as reeling… This was theatre that kept you on edge and occasionally threatened to send you off it. As a raconteur it is the utter conviction with which Ross performs that… draws you into his world. An immensely entertaining ride that scared and shocked in equal measure – a fair ground ghost ride for the 21st Century…” – .Fringe Review: Reviewed by Donald C Stewart

Thursday, 12 March 2015

BLOOD AND STONE: Lullaby For A Vampire Countess - My Walpurgisnacht show at Lee Rosy's Tea Shop

Here's the press release for my next storytelling show, which is at Lee Rosy's Tea Shop in Nottingham on April 30th: WALPURGISNACHT!

Here's the details:

A Dramatic Performance by Marty Ross
April 30th. 8pm, Lee Rosy's Tea Shop, 17 Broad Street, Nottingham NG1 3AJ. Tickets £4 / £3 Concession. Reservations: 07989 746641.

Celebrate Walpurgisnacht with a trip to a Hungarian castle where history's most infamous real life 'vampire' is imprisoned, all via the basement of Lee Rosy's Tea Shop!

Halloween? Oh yeah, we've all heard about that. But what about the other night of the year when dark forces walk? Any reader of Bram Stoker will be aware of the Mittel-European tradition of Walpurgisnacht, but conspicuously the UK fails to celebrate it: well, that's all going to change this year in Nottingham, as acclaimed storyteller and playwright Marty Ross returns to Lee Rosy's after his Edgar Allan Poe show last Halloween: his new show an appropriately Gothic vampire tale.

The year is 1610: Hungary’s real life ‘vampire’ countess is imprisoned in her castle, the most prolific serial killer in history. But what if a servant were naïve enough to be talked into setting her free?

It’s one of history’s great horror stories – the Countess who bathed in blood to preserve her beauty. It has inspired horror films from Hammer’s ‘Countess Dracula’ to recent efforts starring Julie Delpy and Anna Friel. Those accounts have focused upon the Countess’ gory heyday, but the emphasis in Marty Ross’ storytelling show is on the aftermath… the ageing Countess punished by being locked for years in a lightless chamber in her castle, her hunger fierce as ever. Blood And Stone imagines that hunger being turned loose on the world once again.

Those who have seen Marty Ross' previous performances at Lee Rosy's, or at Chilwell Arts Theatre, or No. 28 in Belper... or at the Edinburgh Fringe (where this show is headed) or the London Horror Festival (where this show was successfully performed in 2013) will know his storyteller’s ability to shape-shift through the forms and voices of a myriad of strange characters, male and female. Well established as a playwright, particularly with dark drama for BBC radio (Ghost Zone, Catch My Breath, Darker Side Of The Border), plus Doctor Who & award-nominated Dark Shadows audio drama– as well as the audio drama version of Blood And Stone, nominated for a 2012 Rondo Award (horror fandom’s Oscars) - as a storyteller he is a whole dramatis personae in himself, a key figure in the current revival of this oldest – and yet suddenly most modern - of theatrical forms.

As Broadway Baby said of his show 21st. Century Poe, “Ross is a master craftsman who never turns down the pressure, painting vile pictures and weaving a grotesque spell over his listeners… Certain images were so repulsive that people in the front row were noticeably squirming”. Using not just powerful words, but mime and gesture indebted to the likes of German Expressionism, Ross’ storytelling is more Theatre Of Cruelty than Book At Bedtime, creating vivid on-stage images, even as he projects more scarifying images still into the audience’s imaginations… which is where the really scary stuff always happens….

Reviews for Ross’ previous shows:

Insanely good storytelling… a master craftsman who never turns down the pressure… violently impressive….” – Broadway Baby *****

Ross has a great aptitude for suspense and terror… chilling.” – 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