Kill the Beast: He Had Hairy Hands

Imagine Hot Fuzz meets Hollyoaks meets Hammer Horror. Then add some incredibly camp, fabulously choreographed dance sequences and a host of bizarrely grotesque facial expressions. Now you’re getting close to an approximation of Kill The Beast’s hilariously macabre production of He Had Hairy Hands.

A lurching, red-eyed monster of a play - it’s gripping beyond belief and unstoppably funny.

The scene opens in a 1950s dark alleyway, packed with characters holding even darker motives. From these unscrupulous beginnings, events jump forwards twenty four years to the matter at hand: the discovery of newly-deceased and suspiciously mauled bodies in the small town of Hemlock-Upon-Lye. What happens from here, you will have to find out - but I guarantee it won’t be what you expect.

Kill The Beast at once present both the human and the inhuman in their unique characterisation, with engorged overreactions leading to eyes bulging, animalistic panting and an almost possessed sense of the extreme throughout the production. Every movement is charged with an uncontrollable energy, from the eyebrows to the tips of the fingers, and characters explode into life as soon as they enter thanks to lightning-fast cues and deft physicality.

There is no slacking within the ensemble: David Cumming and Natasha Hodgson take office flirtation to a stratospheric level, whilst Oliver Jones flits from school teacher to scumbag to sailor boy with mesmerising speed and accuracy. Zoe Roberts never relents as the ball-busting Whitechapel, and when all these come together it’s the perfect storm for a scandalous stand-off, as observed by the Greek chorus of the delightful ‘bunting committee’. I told you, it won’t be what you expect.

When the stakes are high and the finale is approaching, maintaining tension within the narrative whilst still inserting joke after joke is a difficult feat - but mercilessly the laughs, and shocks, keep on coming. It is a testament to the craft of this group that each scene elicits gasps from the audience in one breath and howls of laughter in the next.

Kill The Beast have deconstructed the village murder mystery, injected a dose of steroids and sewn it all up again. The result is a lurching, red-eyed monster of a play - it’s gripping beyond belief and unstoppably funny.

Reviews by Katie Rose

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

The year is 1974, the town is Hemlock-Under-Lye and when werewolf attacks threaten teatime, there's only one person you can call... After a sell-out national tour, the five-star, multi award-winning werewolf comedy returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – promising more blood, sharper claws and taller hats than ever. Combining beautiful visuals, original music and quite an important pigeon, He Had Hairy Hands will take you on a tangled journey through an exceptionally strange mystery. 'A scorchingly talented company' (Time Out). 'Unbelievably funny' (List). 'A deliciously macabre affair' (Stage).