"If you don't like really terrible things," warns Alys Torrance at the outset of the evening's entertainment, "then you should leave, right now!" Seduced by the mystery of a self-powering overhead projector (OHP), the enigma that is George Cranston BA (host of the Open your Brain! Conference and counterfactual creation of actor Mark Dawson) and the promise of alien brain parasites, we choose to stay and are plauded as roaring lions of truthfact, and rewarded with an evening of chaotic adventure comedy horror from Dawson, Torrance and regular Aardman voice Ben Whitehead – who between them play fifteen characters, with the help of mittens, goggles and many, many hats.
The scene is set as Scott and Amundsen start their race to the South Pole; at the same time famous explorer Captain Reginald Cranston Scott-tt (Never heard of him? Wake up sheeple! Listen to truth, not the cover-up!) has an infallible plan to get there first. But a meteor strike sees him hang up his tinfoil suit and step up to save England (and the world) from a magnetism-gobbling alien menace. Inspired as much by the ingenuity of Dr Who, the chill of The Thing as 1950s horror and stiff-upper-lipped tales of two-fisted adventure, this show takes frequent breaks to check in with audience ("any questions?") explore the outer limits of creative OHP animation and manipulation, and even sing the occasional song.
This slimy tale brings the awful special effects of childhood science fiction to delightful life, as the hat-flipping heroes battle the compulsive bubble-wrap menace, death by feisty sheet sleeping-bags and oversized mop-heads, the most terrifying set of bike-lights I've seen since I last walked down the towpath after dark, and a truly dark moment with a toy accordion. Miss at your peril; you deserve to know the truth!