London Horror Festival – Black Shuck

After Saturday afternoon’s frantic antics from the Underground Clown Club in Knock Knock and a delicious early dinner at Islington’s La Petite Auberge we headed back to The Old Red Lion Theatre for the evening’s performances.

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First up was Black Shuck by Duncan Hands. Martha (Rachel Nott) and Art (Alexander Pankhurst) are out on the wilds of the Norfolk coast in the dead of night waiting to collect a shipment of dope from a Dutch fishing boat. Not exactly professional career criminals Art, who is also Martha’s brother-in-law tries to calm their nerves by identifying bird calls, while Martha keeps her spirits up by necking from a hip-flask as she gets progressively more irritated with Art’s chirpyness. Having spent many a happy holiday in the area Art brings up the legend of Black Shuck a huge black hound that roams the very marshes they are lurking in, which doesn’t do anything to calm Martha’s jitters, especially when Martha hears a dog howl.

Without giving too much more away Black Shuck is very nicely acted with some very good jokes, but to me the concept did seem a bit stretched for a whole hour, however with the neat little twist at the conclusion it would make a great chapter for an Amicus style portmanteau horror.

A grimly dark study in restrained anxiety and twisted neurosis with added big black dog I give Black Shuck a 555/666

Black Shuck is just one of the delights enjoyed by discerning horror fans at the London Horror Festival. For more details on what to see at the Old Red Lion Theatre leading up to Sunday 28 October visit the LHF website. Nearest tube Angel (Northern Line)

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