Freddy Krueger lines up with one of the more haunting sounds of the pop-sided 90s in the Ballad of the Backstreet Boys, laying waste with suggested blood and theatrical smoke. Bodies are dropping not to the beat of a drum but the sound of snoozing just another few minutes.
Beyond the gap-toothed seating hangs a mirror on the fourth wall (itself never broken) waiting for the grooming sessions. A man will paw at his facial hair a shave or two different to the man on the playbill cover. We are in this kind of deceit.
Rookies playing marbles couch the glass eye in the crook of their index finger and flick out with the thumb. Then comes along a shark who pivots on the thumb, ratcheting back the bonker on the tip of their finger and letting fly, snap and crack goes the dirt, dreams shattering into the dusty wind.
It's an odd thing to see opening credits play out in real life. As strange as you would think seeing them for a stage production. And so we sit as the actors traipse through, talking in silence and raising glasses and personas. The only thing missing, their names superimposed across the lip of the stage.
Word of mouth happens after the fact. The mystery then is trying to remember how you found yourself standing at the box office, buying tickets for a play where the venue itself does not make any mention of it beyond the lobby.
There is so much cheese here your back passage is going to be plugged up for the month. It's three main chunks of the Marvel Universe banding together to create a show that has another Loki juicy centre. Corny too, even though you didn't have any for lunch.
There's hardly any food or furniture left when The Master devours the dining room and fumes with comic frustration when it takes a while for the audience to cotton on to his name. Clear sign half the audience are fresh to Gallifrey.
Disembodied children's voices are creepy in their own right. When the voices talk back it's that step up into the attic where ghosts will sit during the day playing their pinochle and shell games. What a way to introduce someone.
Balls-to-the-chin deep in its free and fluid use of language, 50 Shades! does not shirk its punches against the source material. It's raw and unforgiving, tearing away at the scant flesh of the books, a trilogy of books mind, and bites deep, making full use of parody's teeth.
Snappiest way to jump into the era is via the atmosphere of aural cues. And it's done as soon as the first brass instrument trills from the stage. Not sure if it's the affectation or really the dialogue, but when everyone's speaking in a 1920s twang the mood is set.
Nothing says theatre better than men jumping into each other's arms gracefully while landing soft punches. The art of fighting on stage is a craft of ballet, dancing to a song you hear in your head with jabs of sharp violins and the underscore of the orchestra pit. Throw in lyrics and you've got yourself a musical.
Cold and colder with the air pulling all hairs in goose-slapping fashion. Fog machines at the ready, the clouds and fairy tales are on for a song and "Once upon a time..." starts us off. In shadow of course. The parents of Shrek and Princess Fiona sing to their kids with a cast over their faces due to the cut of the spotlights. Fearsome undertones of fairy tales never die.
Rhythm and delivery at first sounds like rap, then hip hop. A little more and it's definitely a heart of poetry. The slam and the beat. A sound distinct, the patter unique, the ears in for a treat. Yes, the mood sinks and bobs, but the spirit rises up and eats up a charge, an energy born in the lyrics.