Comedy / Musical Theatre, Sin, Venue 342, 13:15 until 31st August.
Two words for Vampire Hospital Waiting Room: hilarious and charming. After their original run at the Fringe in 2013, they have returned with a fine showing this year of their ‘comedy B-movie for the stage’, reminiscent of cult comedy musical hits Gutted: A Revenger’s Musical and Psister Psycho. The musical follows Arty Baldwin, a comatose millionaire, in the waiting room of Dr Bloom, a man convinced that Baldwin is a Vampire Lord who will grant him immortality.
Other characters include a secretary who Arty has been having an affair with, Arty’s money-grabbing wife, a vicar with an unattended stab wound and a secret, Sexy Nurse, and an alcoholic crooning Scotsman. Everyone is fully-rounded and fully funny, and the ensemble is a joy to watch. Nothing feels tacky or lazy, either. The original songs keep the show balanced and dynamic, with the actors and the on-stage orchestra pulling off what is at times a quite complex score with skill.
Joe McArdle, the Improvert who plays Bloom, stands out particularly in terms of acting, bringing the eccentric character completely to life. In fact, every actor is accomplished and avoids the trap of making their characters two-dimensional caricatures. Instead, each is well-developed and given the time and lines they deserve, even Sexy Nurse. For the most part, the show has enough energy to keep the audience engaged in what is frankly a ridiculous plot, and this is no doubt with thanks to the ensemble.
Vampire Hospital Waiting Room is ultimately a silly venture, making the mundane funny through one supernatural twist. It’s not anything like a socially critical comedy or a satire, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s just good fun, and very worth your time.
Image: Kenny Mathieson