EdFringe 2018 Review: Bad Dog

Bad Dog
Rating: ★★★★
Venue: The Space on North Bridge

Sophie Lorraine Parkin and Jess Corner star in psychological horror Bad Dog, directed by Alice Lloyd-Davies and Ben Wilson. The production, penned by Ashley Milne, examines how childhood traumas can continue to shake us throughout adult life with their tremors ever-present. This small two-person drama from the University of York Drama Society shines through strong performances from its leads and a game-changing reveal in its latter half.

Grace returns home to find her sister Eve covered in blood and the news that Eve has killed the neighbour’s dog. As Grace cautiously helps her sister wash the blood from the crime scene, she begins to realise all may not be as it seems. Bringing issues of sibling relationships, childhood trauma, and faith to the forefront, Bad Dog attempts to cover several complex issues in its forty-five minute run time.

With only a small chair in the centre of the stage, the set takes up an eerie sparse quality as both Grace and Eve examine the trauma that has built up to the incident. Milne‘s narrative gradually unveils the troubled upbringing that both girls were subjected to, with this context providing an authentic backstory and sense of conviction to their bond in this further time of trauma. As we learn more about the girl’s history, Bad Dog reveals a further game-changing twist that takes the level of horror and dread within the story up a notch in its latter half.

Corner is excellent as Grace who clings to her religion as a coping mechanism, whilst Parkin’s somewhat unrepentant Eve represents how these suggested past traumas have skewed her sense of moral judgement. The pair do an impressive job at capturing the sibling bond and exploring the concept of ‘blood being thicker than water’.

Bad Dog is an efficient little horror that tackles some ambitious concepts in its punchy run time.

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