Corydon Ovium

Upstairs in the brightly illuminated Newsroom at the top of Leith Street there is laughter and conversation; below, in the cellar, there is darkness, there is terror, and there are clowns as Sandy Jack and Jennifer Dommeck’s Edinburgh based Nightmare Productions unleash their Tales from the Crypt inspired horror anthology, Corydon Ovium.

Taking its title from the Latin for “clown sheep,” each of the three tales follows the same format: a weakness or temptation, a warning followed by the failure of the characters to heed it, leading inevitably to the Nightmare Circus, the ringmaster doubling as the harbinger of doom in each instance.

So it is that shoplifting children Colin and Kate pass down the midway and Daisy gives in to another drink, each of the stories writ large and played big, a sideshow performance whose intention is to be heard rather than to thrill with subtlety, and it is too over the top to put a chill in the atmosphere.

Though perhaps leaning more towards Treehouse of Horror than The Twilight Zone, the ideas are there but need development and stronger direction, though the biggest problem is beyond the control of the performers, the obviously shoestring nature of the production.

The drapes of the set held up by gaffer tape and periodically falling down, having to be held up by offstage actors, what cannot be performed live is projected on the back screen, though in keeping with the rough ethic of the show the blood splatters are pleasingly practical, and certainly to kill some time of an evening Corydon Ovium is worth the few quid asked by the ringmaster as the audience departs.

Corydon Ovium continues until Sunday 26th August



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