One of the highlights of 2016’s London Horror Festival was the sketch show matinée Knock Knock from the Underground Clown Club and Gavin J Innes, which was back in its weekend afternoon slot (28-29 October) this year. New from the same creative team for this year’s festival is Who’s There which hit the upstairs black room at The Old Red Lion later that evening.
Who’s There follows a slightly different path melding the sketches into a slab of folk horror as the village is cursed by the resurrected spirits of the dead. this causes all kinds of problems for the villagers who only really wanted a new Budgens. Sebastian the hotel manager can’t take five minutes for a cup of tea as his staff try to deal with about every hotel horror movie cliché; Father Paul has to deal with some confusion at the Christian youth group when his students can’t tell the difference between the holy ghost and Uncle Arthur and spirits cause mayhem at the village Post Office when they demand back payments on their pension. Best of all was the trendy, (dare I say it Islington metropolitan liberal) dinner party, where wine and talk about a new Jag is interrupted by the host’s demon possessed baby levitating, head spinning and projectile vomiting.
Like all sketch shows some ideas in Who’s There worked better in front of a live audience than others and I felt the show did take a short while to really get into it’s stride and it does require a certain amount of horror film literacy to understand some of the gags (but if you don’t like horror why are you here?), however once it hit the ground the laughs just kept coming.
Surreal quick-fire laughs once it got cracking we give Who’s There a 666/666
The London Horror Festival is at the Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington until Saturday 4 November. The Old Red Lion Theatre is at 418 St John Street, London EC1V 4NJ. Nearest tube is Angel on the Northern Line. Box office no is 0844 412 4307.