Odd Doll bring their creepily weird puppet stories to the stage in Seaside Terror, a compendium of tales told by the ghoulish Mr Chilly, be-masked ice cream man with a Cornish accent.
The staging is a flat of his van, which the scenes for the stories cleverly pop up in and around. After handing out free Cornettos (I declined the first ones for fear I was going to get it in my face, and then when I did accept on the third round, it was very mushy!), Mr Chilly introduces each segment, and then the puppets take over.
It’s all quite Royston Vasey, and more aimed at a younger audience I would say, but you cannot fail to be impressed by the ingenuity of the simple technical effects. There are only two actors performing, and they both work hard in providing the voices, the puppetry and scene shifting.
The best story is the first one. A professor staying at a vegetarian guest house, under a mad seagull-loving landlady. Without dropping too many spoilers, Hitchcock would have been proud.
The middle stories lull a little in interest, until the dramatic, bloody climax of the hairball bingo caller, but Mr Chilly keeps the energy up with a donkey derby, that whips the audience up into a frenzy.
I’d love to see what Odd Doll can come up with next. And next time, I’ll take the ice cream early!