Review: “Horror” , at The Peacock Theatre
You might not be into dance performances, I’m guessing? But what if you went to a creepy, compelling theatre performance and left thrilled, chuckling, and marveling at the magic, and you didn’t even realise you’d sat in the audience of, really, yes, a dance performance? Oh, you’re about to feel even worse. Horror of “Horror”s – this is technically part of the International Mime Festival. the entire show is done without dialogue. Jakop Ahlbom, you sneaky Dutch genius.
This ain’t your little sister’s ballet recital
Framed around your classic, let’s-go-into-that-empty-old-house, idea (though this time, it is the childhood home of our heroine), “Horror” sees three young friends avoiding the thunderstorm in a dust-covered old house. Bad things ensue: there is blood, lots of blood. And creepy undead (?) people. Shrieky noises that clatter your teeth. A doomed bride, maybe twins – there are a lot of horror tropes in play here, but this is at a theater for goodness sake. Where are the tap dancing Mormons? Nope, we are getting flashbacks, zombie closets that beckon our poor friends in, electronics that one really shouldn’t crawl through…
There are nods to classic horror, like “The Ring”, “The Evil Dead”, maybe “The Last House on the Left”, and maybe, as my friend Melissa pointed out, a little “Rocky Horror Picture Show”? You’ll enjoy the laughs thrown in, as well as the magic, and there are some silly bits. At some point you feel confused, and then it all comes together, ish, at the end in a wonderfully choreographed climax.
Jakop Ahlbom’s vision needs to be seen to be, well, not believed, but to be appreciated. It’s not dance, but it isn’t like any theatre I have seen. How they pull this off every night is astonishing. No intermission, not a whisper in the packed theatre, lots of scares, “Horror” is a weird, wonderful treat.
times and dates : The Peacock Theatre, through June 10