Lachlan Werner is a ventriloquist with a love for theatrical horror and cheeky risqué comedy. In Voices of Evil, he explores the idea of witchcraft and paganism when it all goes wrong. Brew, a puppet witch, conducts a ritual to help Lachy (Werner) gain self-esteem and confidence, but what they accidentally do instead is invoke a demonic entity who is out for destruction and corruption. Will they make it out alive?
It had all the ingredients that a witch's cauldron would be proud of
This show involves a lot of audience interaction and references to the classic Hammer horror movies and Carry On Screaming!, which set the tone of the evening. The way Werner used his voice to animate Brew was subtle yet dramatic, and kept us guessing who was controlling who - the puppet or the puppet master. No matter how much I looked at his mouth to see if it was moving, it didn't. The way he let the witch lead the action before he slowly transitioned into a dynamic interpretation of a demon was so well handled and controlled that we were enraptured. Instead of puppetry for this demon, we saw a vibrant physicalised performer who was extremely creative with his craft.
Werner used his body in a way that was fascinating to watch as his Lachy character slowly became a better version of himself. It was extremely reminiscent of ballet and burlesque combined in terms of his poise, but the element of the classic Pierrot clown came through in terms of his precise hand gestures and facial expressions. As things progressed, he paid tribute to those who had been a Joker type character in the Batman films as he became more grotesque, with a particular nod to Cesar Romero and Heath Ledger. This made the show more interesting and gave a different texture to each layer as the story came to life, leaving us wanting more with the most flexible voice work I've ever seen on stage.
Lachlan Werner: Voices of Evil was the perfect show to end Brighton Fringe. It had all the ingredients needed to brew the perfect potion and portrayed a journey of self-discovery in a way we won't soon forget.