If you were a fan of fantasy or horror in the late ’90s then Buffy The Vampire Slayer was the biggest game in town; with it’s very pretty cast of characters and fast and witty script, the show was irresistible to a certain sort of geek, and it’s quite rightly sunk into the geeky version of the collective consciousness. Buffy Revamped attempts to do the impossible and take all 144 episodes of this well-loved and frequently misremembered show and condense them into a seventy-minute show.
And it does so with grace, style and a lot of humour. Brendan Murphy is no stranger to compressing pop-culture, his previous act, Friend: The One with Gunther, did a similar thing with the sit-com FRIENDS. The difference here of course is that the lore can be pretty deep and Buffy, with its arc plot and many moving parts, would be easy to get wrong. Murphy nails it every time. (Or should that be stakes it? You decide).
The comedian appears on stage in the guise of everyone’s favourite undead poet, Spike. It’s a good choice, Spike has the best lines in the show and though not everyone can pull of the platinum blonde/leather jacket look, Brendan clearly can. All other characters are represented with props, either worn or waved around. We go through the full story of Buffy at a break-neck pace, stopping only to tell more jokes.
Those unfamiliar with the show will be a little lost, but there is enough silliness throughout to keep even the most casual of fans entertained as Spike capers across the stage, and summaries of each season are very, very good.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer famously got darker in tone as the show went on and this is handled with just the right amount of sensitivity; the pace dips briefly for the sad and disturbing bits and then the pace returns to its frantic rhythm.
The show is supernaturally good. Maybe Murphy made a deal with a justice demon or perhaps he’s simply that talented, but in a very short space of time not only does he completely embody the more charming aspects of Spike, he also projects the warmth and love the fans have for this show. This is geek love at its best, and comedy theatre at its finest; well worth a look.Buffy Revamped is on at the Edinburgh Fringe until August 29th. Check listings for tour information. More details can be found by clicking here.