21st. CENTURY POE
9th May: FALLING FOR THE USHERS 10th. May: HEART SHAPED HOLE
Southside Fringe 2015. The Bungo, Nithsdale Road, Glasgow.
8pm 9 & 10th. May Tickets £7 / £6
Tickets for FALLING FOR THE USHERS: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1391795
Tickets for HEART SHAPED HOLE:
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:
On FALLING FOR THE USHERS:
“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
On HEART SHAPED HOLE:
“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