Poezest is Mike Bennett's critically acclaimed reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe's works. It features Rev Dr Clive Jackson of Doctor and the Medics and has a special appearance by Lanah P of The Comic Strip.
Following a successful run at The Bloomsbury Theatre, this intriguing multimedia show arrives in the region to take the audience on a dark, twisted, surreal journey that will appeal to fans of comedy, parody or Poe.
Poezest is soon to be made into a full length feature film; and its reappearance at the Greater Manchester Fringe could be the last opportunity to catch the show up close and personal.
Mike Bennett's highly original installation includes Poe classics such as The Black Cat, Tell-Tale Heart and The Premature Burial, and introduces the character of Dr Raven played by guest star Lanah P.
It's a real coup and great casting to have mercurial, cult performer 'Doctor' Clive Jackson starring in the play. It is a perfect fit for this celebrated, deathly comic interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe's work.
We grab a few words with Dr Clive and inquire if he was a fan of Baltimore's finest poet? "Yes, a massive fan" he enthuses "I co-wrote Grimly Fiendish with The Dammed with Poe embedded in my brain. Mike Bennett's stuff with The Fall had Poe nightmare vibes; its influence is all there. Poe created horror as we know it. The half English half American writer was a genius."
The musicality of the show is spot on, with Clive's showmanship and Mike Bennett's killer script. Mike is well respected in the musical industry and has collaborated with Salford legend Mark. E Smith along with numerous others including Ian Brown and The Specials.
Poezest boasts a filmic backdrop that is suitably atmospheric and chilling. It's a highly original setting that augments Mike's gothic yet comedic script. Mike has top notch comedy credentials, too, having written for Rik Mayall, The Muppets and Children's ITV. His favourite moment in the script is a suitably off-the-wall moment where he takes on the role of a bizarre, possessed creature...
"...A creepy cat that keeps coming back to life and helps the police to discover a dead body behind the wall" he explains "The cat is an ethereal feline who is the downfall of a murderous psychopath!"
Clive describes the play intriguingly as, "Not Hammer Horror or Rocky Horror. It's an immersive piece with The Medics making a surprise appearance."
Invigorated by his acclaimed performance in Poezest, the engaging frontman has some interesting projects up his sleeve: "We go to the USA with it and back into The West End...The Medics have the first album in twenty years which is exciting" he says "The Poe film starts shooting in January. I'm fired up and happy to be out of my comfort zone!"
Poezest is a Fringe classic with a great writer and cast. Catch it at The Peer Hat..
Wednesday 18th-Saturday 21st July
The Peer Hat
14-16 Faraday Street, Manchester M1 1BE
Performances are at 7:30pm except for Saturday 4:30pm
Tickets £8/£6 – to order click here
For further details see the GM Fringe website – click here
Words by Ian Leslie