It’s a wet evening outside the Grand Opera House in York and Vikings are prowling the streets. For some men they might be a threat, but for Garth Marenghi, doom scriber and master of the macabre, they are but bearded weirdos. Why, dear reader is this review written in a manner of which the man himself might approve? Let me explicate.
In the shadow of Channel 4’s truly infamous treatment of the seminal Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace (and unfortunate mysterious disappearance of its leading lady), the creator, Garth Marenghi (as referenced above) was forced into a creative exile. Pushed into a new artistic dimension, Marenghi has once again flourished with the release of Garth Marenghi’s TerrorTome (volume 1 of a possible 1,000). The iconoclastic author is currently undertaking a book tour to (needlessly) raise awareness of his literary craft and answer a few uninformed questions from the audience.
The man has lost none of his gravitas with a stage-filling presence that is populated by just his intellect, a couple of chairs and the Tome in question. Oh, and there’s a tape player for atmos operated by the master himself, which works a treat. Garth (if he will allow me the informality of his first name) spends the first half of the evening reading an abridged tale from his new TerrorTome. The book has such powerful prose that it alone can create horrifying pictures in the mind’s eyeball, but when read and indeed acted by the purveyor of the dark arts himself, it takes on an extra dimension. A dark dimension if you will. The tale leaves the audience in (literal) stitches and keen to know more (including how Clive Barker could have the mendacity to rip off the narrative in his ‘Hellraiser’ series).
The second act is taken up by a Q&A that starts well, focused purely on Mr. Marenghi asking himself questions, but descends into amateur town when opened up to the audience, who lack his intellectual prowess. Nevertheless, Marenghi magnanimously answers one question after another with unbelievable anecdotes, sobering truths and precise observations.
The night comes to an end all too soon and Garth Marenghi vanishes into the night, but at least we have his skin-flayingly impressive book to dive into whenever we need a hor-rotic trip back to the macabre. If you’re yet to take a trip into the macabre, now is the time.
Garth Marenghi’s TerrorTome book tour continues around the UK – further information and tickets available here.