Dead of Night by Hurly Burly is a traipse through gothic romantic literature in an exploration of the nature of humanity and monsters.
A little tedious to watch
A young girl is taken beyond The Edge to the world of sleep by two guides, where she meets a host of characters from classical literature that have been relegated to the role of ‘monster’ in their respective novels.
As far as musicals go, Dead of Night is fine, and most of its weaknesses as a musicla stems fro, the fact that doesn’t quite make sense narratively. Whilst the distance that the dream creates to make the extraordinary believable, it’s not needed. In fact, it’s probably the weakest part of the musical. Sure, it explains Dead of Night’s thematic purpose, but in doing so, it’s a little patronising - we’re smart enough to figure it out for ourselves and the time could be used to add another character song. It’s very episodic but the characters explored in each song become clear very quickly, so we are able to make the most out of their direct speech and communication with us, telling their side of the story. There is definitely a development in the degree of monstrosity that each character has, increasing with each song, starting with Frankenstein’s Monster and ending with Dracula, whose He’s a Vampire (rather obvious) is by far the most fun in its ownership and boastfulness of the character’s evil deeds; a complete 180 from Frankenstein’s Monster’s angry ballet.
The point of the show seems to be to explore human nature and how we decide what are monsters and what aren’t. A very abstract musical, Dead of Night, is a little tedious to watch.