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BLOOD AND STONE: LULLABY FOR A VAMPIRE COUNTESS
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