Thursday, 14 May 2015

BLOOD AND STONE: Lullaby For A Vampire Countess at Belper Arts Festival Saturday May 23rd.

PHEW! Just back from a couple of well-received 21st CENTURY POE shows at Glasgow Southside Fringe, slightly exhausted, and pole-axed with a head cold, but making time to post here details of my next show, in just over a week at Belper Arts Festival, in the No. 28 arts centre, which is becoming a regular haunt for my macabre storytelling. Show is BOOKING H E R E ! ! !

BLOOD & STONE – Lullaby For A Vampire Countess
A Dramatic Performance by Marty Ross

Belper Arts Festival, May 23rd. No. 28, Market Square, Belper DE56 1FZ. 7.30pm (doors open 7pm). Tickets £7 / £5 from Belper Arts Fest box offices at Oxfam books, King Street & Gatehouse Tea Rooms, DeBradlei Mill, Chapel Street. Ticket hotline: 07845 400914.

The early 1600s. Hungary’s real life ‘vampire’ countess Elizabeth Bathory is imprisoned in her castle, the most prolific serial killer in history. But what if a servant were na├»ve enough to set 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, in a haunted and haunting drama: a unique and intense theatrical experience, far beyond all cliches of what a 'storytelling' show might be.

Those who have seen Marty Ross' previous performances at No. 28 in Belper (The Blackwater Bride at last year's Belper Arts Fest; two performances of 21st Century Poe)... or at venues around Nottingham or the Edinburgh Fringe (where BLOOD & STONE 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, young and old, good and evil. 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, weaving a grotesque spell over his listeners…”. Using not just powerful words, but mime and gesture indebted to the likes of German Expressionism, Ross’ storytelling is more Jacobean Tragedy than Jackanory, 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

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