A gently spooky and lightly humorous comedy-horror mash-up
Fringe comedy's links with the horror genre are long and profitable. Both Garth Marenghi and the League of Gentlemen won the Perrier for their dastardly acts while the more recent likes of Tom Neenan, Ewen MacIntosh and Will Seaward have attempted to make audiences laugh one minute and scream the next. Into that rich seam comes Nick Coyle with the gothic tale of Miss Frances Glass, a stoic governess sent to Blackbell House to sort out the affairs of this well-spooky manor after a series of unexplained deaths.
Cue sound effects of rain, thunder and lots of loud banging noises while the action (mainly occurring in a gloomy half-light) has Australian Coyle (with his five o'clock shadow intact) giving a highly committed and humorous performance as the initially sceptical but soon to be scared-witless lady. There's a generally creepy vibe which keeps prodding Queen of Wolves forward, but ultimately it's neither terrifying or funny enough to fully hit its target. There's one letter-writing sequence which goes on far too long, which compares unfavourably to the short sharp shock of a blackboard revealing a rather curt message. And you'll never watch a cello solo quite the same again.
Underbelly Cowgate, run ended.