The Lampoons: House on Haunted Hill @ Pleasance Dome

The Lampoons: House on Haunted Hill is a piece of theatrical nonsense and should appeal to fans of absolute stupidity

Review by Grace Lavender | 22 Aug 2018
  • The Lampoons: House on Haunted Hill

The 1959 classic House on Haunted Hill bears little resemblance to its farcical reinvention performed by The Lampoons, who make it their business to renovate famous movies for the stage.

Adam Elliott, Christina Baston, Oliver Malam and Josh Harvey make up The Lampoons, and together take the audience on a journey unlike many others. From giant pickles to ghost cats, from nudity to ballet routines, this show is completely absurd.

Most of the gags are gross and vulgar, and there is a lot of licking, spitting and food in the mix. The audience can also get involved and are able to squirt actors with water pistols and hurl ping pong balls at them. Many moments are so silly they can’t help but be laughed at.

However, some of the ad-libbed moments, while funny, tip the balance too far into the nonsensical, obscuring the plot as well as scripted jokes. Equally, the shock factor – on which many of the jokes rely – becomes old after a while, and the show would benefit from greater variety. While The Lampoons pride themselves on being professional idiots sometimes the show is just too stupid.

The Lampoons: House on Haunted Hill is a piece of theatrical nonsense. In some ways, it is refreshing to see a show that seems to be saying so little. If you enjoy absolute stupidity then this is certainly the show for you. If, however, you want something a little more serious, then this might be one to avoid.

The Lampoons: House on Haunted Hill, Pleasance Dome (10Dome), 1-26 Aug (not 13), £8-£9

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