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Don’t Wake the Damp review at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh – ‘Kill the Beast’s best yet’

Kill the Beast in Don't Wake the Damp at the Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh Kill the Beast in Don't Wake the Damp at the Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

Expectation for this, the third Kill the Beast show, runs as high as the teetering, crumbling tower block it features, as the UK’s most gruesomely ambitious comedy theatre company try for the hat-trick.

Screen burning on to aging 80s retinas, it’s the story of June Berry, the haggard star of long-lost TV anti-classic The Crystal Continuum as she faces off against a very real monstrous invasion in the basement of her disintegrating flat. Flipping in freaked-out hallucinogenic glitches between her dystopian present and her glory days as Boobs, the sexy sidekick to Captain Charisma, it’s a meltdown of every kitschy video nasty and Saturday morning cartoon you could mention.

The body horror of David Cronenberg’s Shivers meets Colin Baker-era Doctor Who and the DayGlo derring-do of Bucky O’Hare, with a script as laser-hot as anything the brilliant Beasts have produced so far. The synth-ridden soundtrack is a pulsing monster of its own, the projections now dance across three moving screens, and the performances are electric genius.

Masters of repurposing the TV and cinema of the past, this feels like a tribute to Kill the Beast’s own collective childhood. To growing up good and weird in the power-ballad mornings, neon afternoons and monster-prowled evenings of the early 90s.

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Verdict
Kill the Beast delivers its best show yet, a neon-drenched nightmare that’s as sharp as a needle made of lasers
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