It’s probably safe to say that Christmas is not a holiday held in terribly high esteem amongst the goth crowd. It’s bright, it’s cheerful, and it’s really hard to look menacing with a paper crown plunked on your head during a bourgeois turkey dinner with your nerdy family. No, for the earnestly evil, there must be a better way to tide over the Yule.
Perennial goth girl and retro-wannabe Maude-Lynne thinks she’s hit on the perfect combination of dark and darker for her seasonal celebrations this year. Along with her long-suffering husband, Colin, she’s embarking on a mission to un-merry Christmas with quotes from the Bronte sisters, barbed commentary on the tackiness of all things ho-ho, and a bleak Victorian pantomime that would probably depress any child or adult foolhardy enough to stray from the Santa Claus Parade circuit.
“Maude-Lynne is not impressed with any of it,” says director Johnnie Walker, who also co-wrote the piece with the show’s star, Morgan Norwich. “She’s not into Santa Claus, she’s not into that Mariah Carey song, and she longs for a Victorian Christmas as it appears in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.”
As with the character’s previous outing in the Fringe hit Maude-Lynne Sells Out, Norwich and Walker have their creation expressing her angst-y displeasure through monologue and song, accompanied on piano by the hapless Colin (played by Peter Cavell).
The challenge, of course, is to win over her nonplussed family – as well as an audience that is expected to participate in the festivities. Yes, if you’re at all shy, you’d better sit at the back or risk being included in the gloomy gal’s pantomime version of Wuthering Heights.
But then, of course, you’d miss all the fun.