Watson perfectly balance madcap laughs and scares in 'Go To Hell!'
Horror-comedies are often a fiddly dichotomy to maintain - drift too heavily into one of the realms, and you run the risk of discrediting the opposing force. The trick is to understand the purpose to the frenetic nature of the fused genres, and with their latest show Go To Hell!, comedy trio Watson wield a laser-like focus on the qualities that each world can offer the other.
Striking a perfect balance between vaudevillian-esque energy and legitimate dread, Adam McKenzie, Tegan Higginbotham and Liam Ryan cheekily play off the audience's nerve points, expertly diffusing each shiver with mirth and wit.
The show works best if you know as little as humanly possible before you're plunged into the madness. Through a series of sketches and silly experiments, Watson claim to have discovered a fool-proof method for facing your darkest fears - and, as you can probably guess, it all goes horribly wrong. Masters of positioning, the team consistently ease you into heavy belly laughs with their laconic stylings before yanking the rug out from under your feet. It's far from a "scary" show, though - the little jolts don't detract from the comedy, but rather weave a poignant theme through the laughter.
Watson cleverly paint a gradual statement on how we often use theatrical scares - the goofy supernatural shocks safely contained within the confines of campfire stories and urban legends - to subconsciously address the unsettlingly-real concerns within ourselves, such as personal failure and self-doubt. Go To Hell! is never bleak, however - the show gently dips into the genuinely disturbing just long enough to stick with you, but immediately reassures with an overall air of positivity and silly honesty. It's a healthy discussion on overcoming anxieties peppered with hilarious send-ups of spooky tales, guaranteed to thrill. Watson have delivered a refreshingly fun examination of one of our most basic reflexes, in a tremendous production that all involved should be proud of.
By Jacob Colliver