LoveHard: The House on the Hill

Perhaps one of the most entertaining shows I have seen on the Free Fringe, Lovehard consists of comedians Jacob Lovick and Tyler Harding (see what they did there?), who in what is amazingly their first full length Edinburgh show deliver an outrageous horror-comedy.

The House on the Hill is almost impossible not to enjoy.

The Kings are an American family who have moved to rural Scotland; little do they know that they will have to contend with some unhinged locals and spooky goings on in their new home. Right from the off the show is fantastic – and the first joke is mostly just Harding pulling a dramatic face set to scary music! Everything that follows is charmingly lo-fi: together the pair play a total of 25 characters (somehow managing to get a lot of them onstage together near the end), and the occasional late sound cue or corpse actually made it all much more enjoyable than a slicker show.

Working in a tiny performance space (you’ll hardly notice), most of the comedy is verbal rather than visual. The humour is surreal with a fantastic filthy streak, and the audience were in hysterics as the routines get weirder and weirder. There are plenty of satisfying running jokes which are all very odd – they’ll appeal to all but have an enjoyably youthful slant – with a hilariously strange adaptation of the “no legs” meme. The characters are also fabulously off-the-wall, with Lovick’s take on the Scottish locals being a particular highlight.

The show also managed to be fairly creepy in some of the horror scenes, and the familiar tropes of unexplained music and mysterious voices were pulled off well. I saw a plot twist coming early in the story, but it was still very satisfying and unexpectedly hilarious when the big reveal came. The horror vibe provided some great black humour and multiple opportunities to poke fun at the genre – particularly the locals’ inexplicable hostility towards people who “aren’t from round these parts.”

By the end of the performance you’ll have laughed more or less solidly throughout. The surreal humour and hilarious running jokes make this an unexpected delight, providing plenty of reasons to head out to the small venue for the late evening slot. The House on the Hill is almost impossible not to enjoy.

Reviews by Simon Fearn

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The Blurb

A family, recently arrived from nearby America, are moving into a newly-acquired property in Scotland. Specifically rural Scotland. Specifically specifically remote rural Scotland. Rumours surround the mysterious mansion and its blood-drenched past, and the locals aren't keen on the new arrivals either. But all the Kings want is a nice, quiet, relatively murder-free area to settle down and forget the problems they've left behind. Will they find the eternal peace they're looking for? Will the house claim them for its own? And will remote rural Scotland ever lose its faint sheen of unnatural terror?