Buffy Revamped is a one-person show at the Pleasance at the EICC featuring Spike from the popular television series Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Spike takes the audience on a journey through all seven seasons of the show with plenty of audience interaction and clever observations both on the show itself and on more political based points.
Spike is played by Brendan Murphy who demonstrates throughout the show that he is a skilled performer and can run with audience feedback and interactions. The comedy at times was quite physical and it is clear Murphy has a thorough understanding of the Buffy show, but he is able to take sometimes small things from within the show and turn these into clever witticisms.
Combined with his facial expressions, voices and appropriate props and gestures, these become laugh out loud moments to bring tears to the eye. The caricatures are exaggerated but these work perfectly within the context of the show because they are consistent with Spike’s irreverence. There is a section early in the show where Murphy stretches his performing muscles by summarising season 1 in a period of 60 seconds, treating the audience to rapid fire factual humour.
This show involves plenty of dirty jokes and Murphy eerily channels Spike’s rude approach to existence and provides observations that are so in character that they may as well have been written by the show creators. Murphy sings at moments during the show and the lyrics are very humorous and would certainly be worth further scrutiny. Murphy effectively makes use of all parts of the stage and uses props in one of the most hilariously creative ways I have witnessed. Another section of the show worthy of a highlight is Spike’s ‘bloody awful’ poetry which is to be seen to be believed.
This show effectively makes use of technology and the video presentations by Bruno Collins greatly contribute to both the hilarity of the show and the structure. The choice of music and sound by James Nicholson also adds to the strength of the show. Hamish MacDougall’s direction has clearly coaxed the best from Murphy.
In summary, the performance is ingeniously chaotic and Buffy Revamped is brilliantly composed with a perfect balance between nostalgia, humorous asides and derision. If you are looking for a good, hard laugh and a touch of escapism then this is the show for you.