He Had Hairy Hands: A Gloriously Silly Tale

Kill the Beast are associate artists at The Lowry Theatre in Salford, and their 2014 production He Had Hairy Hands is a slick, surrealist comedy that has all the

Kill the Beast are associate artists at The Lowry Theatre in Salford, and their 2014 production He Had Hairy Hands is a slick, surrealist comedy that has all the hallmarks of real theatrical talent.

Suspend your disbelief

Influenced by Hammer Horror, The Wickerman, Scooby Doo and The League of Gentlemen, this sixty minute show is a 1970s detective werewolf mystery, set in the fictional sleepy town of Hemlock-Under-Lye.

The production really is a case of surreal cartoon comedy meets genuine intrigue, all mixed up with a phenomenal dose of well-choreographed theatricality, and sublimely-versed musical numbers.

If you’re looking for something serious, this show really isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for a thoroughly entertaining romp through the realms of the improbable, He Had Hairy Hands certainly won’t disappoint. 

A talented troupe

Kill the Beast enjoyed a successful Edinburgh Fringe run last year, with the gloriously bizarre show The Boy Who Kicked Pigs. For everyone who loved them then, now, with a bit more polish and a lot more confidence, they’re even better.

Despite the myriad of weird and wonderful characters involved, only four actors take to the stage to play them all. Their transitions are seamless, and the energy the four of them have is even more impressive after you’ve seen them flyering for hours beforehand, with just as much enthusiasm.

The group as individuals are all immensely believable and possess flawless comedic timing. As a whole, their chemistry and joy in what they’re doing is infectious, making the entire show a pure joy to watch.

Impressive staging

The company has also secured a reliable venue in the Pleasance Courtyard for a piece of comedic new writing, and what’s more, they’ve used it well. A large projector screen dominates most of the stage, changing the set seamlessly so the focus is always on the bizarre character creations, and their even weirder story. 

The screen also serves another purpose, by allowing the actors to switch character behind it, and ingeniously make use of two wires which function as “dog” leads, phone wires, and climbing ropes – among other things. 

A highlight

For me, this show has been an unexpected find and a real highlight for the early Edinburgh Fringe. Kill the Beast are a gloriously talented company, and this surreal comedy piece is joyful, filled with a wild energy, and endlessly watchable. 

There are plenty of laughs, plenty of gasps, plenty of musical numbers, and plenty of hats. The plot is tricky enough to be a satisfying watch, and the writing and performances are slick enough to keep you giggling the whole way through.

This is a show which has an incredibly diverse range of talent, and He Had Hairy Hands can’t fail to keep you entertained, and on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Kill the Beast’s He Had Hairy Hands is being performed August 2nd – 12th, and 14th – 25th, at 18:30 (1 hour 10 minutes) in the Pleasance Courtyard.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.