EdFringe 2018 Review: Providence

Rating: ★★★★

Venue: Assembly Rooms - George Street - Front Room

The worlds of HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe combine in Providence - a physical comedy that explores the life of the man behind 'The Call of Cthulu' and 'Shadow Over Innsmouth' with quick-wit and a spooky playfulness. Simon Maeder and Dominic Allen write and direct this sharp comedic piece which is not afraid to glimpse at the brilliant literary mind with a critical contemporary eye.

Opening with Lovecraft's attempts to drown himself, he soon meets the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe, who he explores key moments from his life with. We get a sense of the complexities behind the man responsible for some of the world's most prolific horror literature.

Maeder and Allen's love for the genre is apparent in their inventive production and writing techniques which fuse recreations of Lovecraft's work with a narrative that explores his rise to prominence. Whilst their tongue is rooted firmly in cheek when doing so, Providence, does impressively capture Lovecraft's back-story from his relationship with his overprotective mother (humorously portrayed by Allen in a black veil) to his work in amateur journalism and ultimately horror literature.

The complexities of Lovecraft's tortured mind are on display - and these include his obsession with being the perfect English gentleman right down to his loathing of anyone foreign. Yet, Lovecraft's outdated views are beneficial for comic effect here - and Maeder and Allen cast a bawdy satirical eye on the author's hypocritical views on Jews and foreigners. 

Nifty production and sound work add some gravitas to the recreations of the author's work, whilst energetically melodramatic turns from Maeder and Allen ensure that there are laughs to be had throughout the full show.
Theatre Review 3007051443281766392
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