A comedy by Jack Sharkey

19th – 22nd November 2014 at the Memorial Hall, Little Baddow

Lightning plays around the turrets of an ancient castle high in the Transylvanian mountains. From within doors creak and plaintive cries are heard from the cellar…

You would be forgiven for thinking you are in for chilling night of ‘shock and gore’, but no, this gothic horror is played for fun, not frights, as every cliché is gloriously sent up.

When several villagers mysteriously disappear, the question is ‘Who …or what dunnit?’. Soon the finger of suspicion points to the strange inhabitants of Castle Von Blitzen.

With laughs aplenty along the way it will be difficult for the cast not to corpse! (excuse the pun), and by the end, light is thrown on all the ‘dark secrets’. In fact the biggest shock of the evening comes when the creature’s identity is unveiled!

So, on a dark and dreary November evening make your way to the Memorial Hall, for mystery and mirth of monster proportions. Muahaha!


Kenton Church – Director

Auditions will be held in St Andrews room – 27th and 29th May at 7.45pm



This Gothic comedy was penned back in '77 by Jack Sharkey, onetime jokes editor of Playboy.
“Dreadful is a relative term”, and his often clever spoof of the Transylvanian genre has many witty touches, and is amusingly self-referential. But it runs out of comedy steam a little towards the end, as the characters sit around listening to explanations of what's been afoot.
Director Kenton Church [who also dresses up to play the various Shtunken brothers] has assembled an excellent cast, including some stalwarts and several new faces. The range of accents is breathtaking. We're in the Carpathians, I think, but there are Americans, including the daughter of the Home Counties Baroness and her Mad Scientist spouse.
The piece really needs brazen, bold performances, and some actors achieve this better than others here. Peter White is excellent as the deformed Mord, as is Sylvia Lanz as the prim Teutonic housekeeper, knocking back tots of schnapps.
John Peregrine is the mysterious von Blitzen, with Rita Ronn as an imposing grande dame [beautifully turned out, as are many of the women characters]. The youthful US contingent is well handled by Sarah Trippett-Jones, Heather Lucas and James Oakley.
The sound effects [phonograph horns high on the castle walls] are brilliantly done in the manner of steam radio, and the set, with its tiny fenestrals affording a glimpse of figures on the stairs, magically makes this tiny stage into a cavernous baronial hall.

Michael Gray’s review from his Arts Blog