Deep underground through the labyrinth of the Caves the infrequent Scottish sunshine never penetrates, and all that exists is a place where demons dwell wearing the human skin they have bargained for. This is the place where Sam Gore has set himself up for the duration of the Edinburgh Fringe, entombed in brick beneath the Old Town where “the only thing which comes for free is the existential dread.”
The audience shuffling to their seats with a mixture of anticipation and resignation under the watchful eye of the dark clad host, he does indeed see all, his “horror stories from the celebrity void” which fuelled his hugely popular Facebook page chronicling “the futility of all human endeavour” now collated into the the dread tome named The Celebunomicon.
What follows is a dour tirade of acerbic observations which Gore insists are the truth, from the unimaginable threat of Michael Gove as told from the perspective of the future which has already witnessed the march of the Gove Clone Army to Jamie Oliver’s descent into madness and of course Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party, “a composite of every mean school dinner lady you’ve ever known.”
While the show is predominantly spoken word there are visuals accompanying the caustic phrasing and verbal venom, however despite the best attempts of lurching sidekick Igor the gremlins have interfered with the sound system resulting in a somewhat fractured performance, but that just keeps Gore and the audience on their toes: the uncertainty will work with the adrenaline produced by the terror and laughter to help fight the toxic pathogens in the room.
The technical difficulties leading to a nervous early performance, as the show finds its feet it should become more assured in its invective but those of a nervous disposition looking for gentle early evening entertainment unlikely to offend would perhaps be better to look elsewhere, for Gore is merciless in his assault on those who have brought the world from “humanity’s explosive penultimate season” to the unfolding horror story that is commonly known as 2017.
While Britain is offered a not-so-cosy bedtime story of David Cameron, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson, across the pond the strings of America are pulled by Steve Bannon, “a man who looks like Michael J Fox tried to carve John Goodman out of bin meat,” and with plot revelations so swift and radical as to defy belief on both side of the Atlantic it will be a wonder if major changes are not required through the run to keep up.