The words out of the cast's mouths are soft and friendly, welcome to a snowy and tree filled Scottish wood. The set is beautiful, silver birch trees stretch up a beyond the ceiling and a single playground climbing frame sits grey and still under the warm light of a solitary lamp post. The snow swirls of the group and the people in fur collared seventies looking coats briskly weave in and out of the spindly tree trunks. It is safe to say
the setting works well.
Once you've cosied into the accents, seventies garb and snowy setting, you suddenly witness a bloody murder executed by an old man betwixt the trees. The fake blood is a-flowing and in another scene the bullies are a-bullying. We've got a couple of interesting narratives to sink our teeth into.
The two stories of Eli our vampire and Oskar the wee boy meander through the forest together until they finally our protagonists meet at the climbing frame, curious about each other where they speak to each other for the first time.
What you may notice about Eli the dextrous but forlorn undead one is her extremely annoying voice. Yes you're weak, you need blood, yes you're old beyond the years of your slight childlike body and you have seen many many things but please stop whining!
The last scene did not hold the gruesome climax that the Vampire tale so often reaches
I found it hard to feel for the old man, Eli's partner. Yes it sucked that he had to kill to feed her and that she had lost affection for him and was moving into a new relationship with Oskar but I didn't care. Even when he stays true to her until the very end, melting off his face with acid to avoid connecting her with his murder spree.
After the arrest of Eli's old lover, she is vulnerable. As the policeman enters her flat he edges closer to the trunk where Eli sleeps, Oskar warns her and watches on as it all kicks off.
This jump out of your skin moment was certainly the highlight of the play. I think the live aspect of theatre really gets you at this point as you are actually there in the moment watching it happen but also you feel like a part of it. The audience literally jumped out their seats.
The pleasure I gain for the theatre is not that of the immersivness and creation of an alternate reality that I find in film. It is the inventiveness and artistic rawness that was created through its staging and physicality that I enjoyed rather than the telling of the story.
I feel the play lacked the intensity and knife edge nervousness that Eli's sorrowful, on the break of tears voice may have been trying to portray. The last scene did not hold the gruesome climax that the Vampire tale so often reaches. My blood lust was not quenched. After the bloody earlier tricks and fright of the policeman scene the red lit snow and soggy Oskar paled in comparison.