The reviews are coming in for our current show “Flaming Sin: London’s Grand Guignol” and we’re, well… thrilled. We had no idea how people would react to an evening of Noel Coward sophistication, Grand Guignol excess, and a very “blue” floor show, but it looks like we’re not the only ones crazy enough to think it’s a fun time.
The San Francisco Bay Guardian’s Giattina offers a great capsule review:
Going to the Hypnodrome, where Grand Guignol theater company Thrillpeddlers dwell, is spooky enough. The cast of characters that greet you as you enter the ramshackle warehouse situated on a deserted SoMa corner under a freeway overpass exude a distinct Addams Family vibe. Even though they couldn’t be more welcoming, you can’t help be a little fretful of these macabre-loving creatures of the night. What might they do to you once you’ve let your guard down? It’s guaranteed that they’ll treat you to an arousing evening of theater, as they have done for many audiences over the past 18 years. The current production brings to life an early work of Noel Coward’s, The Better Half, written for the Grand Guignol of London in 1921 when the master of English wit was only 22, and then swiftly buried by Lord Chamberlain, who did not approve of the “loose” morals depicted in this short, sexy one-act in which Alice Louise as Alice executes the loquacious dialogue at just the right clip. After that little joy ride, André de Lorde and Alfred Binet’s thoroughly eerie Old Women traps you in a deep freeze. The post-show skits and film clips range from the kinky to creepy — especially when the lights go all the way out.
Ann Rostow writes in the San Francisco Bay Times:
Flaming Sin makes for grand theatrical fun for fans of Coward and horror alike; this show is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Chloe Veltman, theatre critic for the SF Weekly, writes:
Thrillpeddlers, the city’s very own permanant company devoted to recreating the works of the now long-defunct Parisian Grand Guignol theatre… should become a regular stop on the San Francisco trail for locals and visitors looking to sample something of the city’s more lurid side.
By the time I staggered out of The Hypnodrome at around 11.30 the other night, I felt emotionally exhausted and spiritually uplifted. It was one of the stranger evenings I’ve spent at the theatre. I don’t think I’ll forget it in a hurry.
“Flaming Sin” is scheduled to run through May 3rd. There’s still time to buy tickets through BrownPaperTickets.com.