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A whimsical world of 80s horror and modern comedy: 'Slash Her' review

Aditi Hrisheekesh reviews an exciting new 80s comedy play 'Slash Her'.

By Aditi Hrisheekesh, First Year, English

"Slash Her" was a riotous journey through the nostalgic landscape of 80s slasher horror, wrapped in a glittering cloak of modern-day satire and wit. Equipped with a soundtrack straight out of the neon-soaked era, with characters decked out in vibrant 80s attire, the stage burst to life with an infectious energy that kept audiences hooked from start to finish.

Written by the talented Benji Kemp and directed by Eleanor Allen, the musical masterfully blended classic slasher tropes with a tongue-in-cheek approach, delivering punchlines that landed with precision and earned uproarious laughter from the crowd. Set in such an eclectic reality, the performance felt like a surreal fever dream, drawing the audience into its whimsical world. Starting strong with a vivid rendition of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," powerful vocals pooling the room, the stage was firmly set for the ardour of the rest of the show.

Molly Sprouting delivered a captivating performance as the reluctant 'Final Girl' of a typical slasher, navigating through layers of chaos. Her portrayal of a relatable character grounded the story amidst the kaleidoscope of eccentric personalities that populated the stage. Róisín Hamilton’s terrific portrayal of sarcastic and witty Mia and Joe Gibson’s comical portrayals of Stevie and Jay further augmented the Breakfast Club-esque group of misfits. Furthermore, the performance was infused with an absurdist flair that elevated the melodramatic comedy, shining through the phenomenal dance battle between Niamh, played by Lily Majid, and the disco-ball-headed serial killer. Similarly, the queer rendition of The Human League’s "Don’t You Want Me" between Benji Kemp and Joe Gibson amidst a blue cloth of water indicated how the production playfully embraced its own unseriousness, creating a uniquely entertaining experience. At the heart of the melodrama was Benji Kemp’s brilliant performance as Trent, the typical 'straight' guy thrust into this group of colourful personalities. 

Furthermore, the multi-faceted performances of Tegan Pace were like confetti to the chaos – her comedic prowess shone through a range of roles: from the astrology-obsessed India to the businessman indulging in comically uncomfortable roleplay, crossing the stage during the more dramatic moments. Pace’s portrayal of The Manager (the costume bearing a stark resemblance to Freddie Mercury) was a standout moment, with an uproarious rendition of Starship’s "We Built This City" creating a vibrant contrast to the surrounding chaos, wielding a monologue that served as a satirical twist upon dramatic biopics of classic rock and roll.

The use of props was minimalist yet highly effective, with whimsical visuals seamlessly blending the nostalgia of the 80s with modern-day humour. Similarly, the lighting changes helped sharply shift the mood in the more melodramatic moments – for example the comically absurd ‘cosmic being’, with dancing eyes and a gaping mouth paired with flashing lights, was a particularly notable moment as it elevated the surrealness of the show. 

"Slash Her" was a wild ride that thrived due to the absurdity of its horror tropes. With a vibrance that erupted from the stage paired with high-spirited performances, it was a show that left the audience in a state of heightened emotions, absorbing the infectious energy.

Featured Images are courtesy of Skye Collacott Williamson

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