By Carmel Shortall
Dr Death and the Medi-Evil Medicine Show which opened yesterday, Saturday 14th August at The New Diorama Theatre, is a gloriously gory and grisly treat for “children and other childish people”.
Simon Watt, of Ready, Steady, Science and Channel 4’s Inside Nature’s Giants wrote the show and presents it. He introduces himself as Dr Death and it is his job to take the audience on a journey through the history of medicine. On the way he has conversations with Hippocrates, Paracelsus, and Charles the Second, amongst others, and happily chats with their portraits Harry Potter style. It is a very simple but effective device and requires precision timing.
He is later joined by a glove puppet of Granville, the talkative, plague-carrying rat who guides us through the story of the Black Death which, astonishingly, wiped out one third of the population of Europe.
At various stages of the show, Dr Death drinks ‘urine’, pulls entrails from spurting bodies, waves leeches about and chucks pretend maggots into the audience (very popular that last one). It is all great fun and the interaction with the audience is gentle and not embarrassing for either children or adults.
Entertaining, disgusting and educational in equal measures, Dr Death and the Medi-Evil Medicine Show is perfect for fans of ‘Horrible Histories’ and it would be a shame to miss it.
The show plays at the New Diorama Theatre, Regent’s Place, 15 Triton Street (off Euston Road) and starts at 3pm daily.