If you’ve ever given blood to save a life,
If you’ve ever gone down under the knife,
You’ve been giving food, to send down
To the world of the vampires under the ground…
So sings the cast of Vampire Hospital Waiting Room, a deliciously dark and merry musical from Edinburgh-based Beach Comet Theatricals and Bedlam Theatre. When the rich and handsome Arty Baldwin arrives unconscious at the hospital after a tragic car accident, it is down to Dr Bloom to revive him from his comatose state. However, convinced that Arty is actually the long awaited vampire lord on the brink of rebirth, Bloom sets out to awaken him from his slumber and join the vampires himself. This task is rudely obstructed by Arty’s emotionally unstable secretary, his malicious but glamorous wife intent on seizing his fortune, and the female staff member known primarily as ‘sexy nurse’.
With lighting and staging fit for Rocky Horror, the somewhat sepulchral atmosphere is completed by a selection of original and comical songs performed by the cast. With titles such as Fetish for Romance, Love is Like a Car Crash and Let’s Put the ‘Fun’ in Funeral, it comes as no surprise that the musical numbers latch onto the mind for hours after the show. Joe McArdle’s performance as Dr Bloom was one of the most original and hilarious characters I’ve seen in amateur theatre, and the rest of the cast performed seamlessly together. Best of all, the choice of venue was below the finest eatery this side of Cowgate.