Skip to content

THE ROTTING HART [Edinburgh Fringe]

Written By:

Ed Fortune
THE ROTTING HART

by Ed Fortune

If you’re a fan of horror, you tend to be up for new and interesting challenges, and Daniel Orejon’s The Rotting Hart is certainly something novel. It’s a fantastic blend of history, lycanthropy, and doomed romance. It is remarkable, memorable, and strange in all the right ways. 

The show begins with a semi-naked man twitching and howling, our narrator for the show, performed by the show’s writer, Daniel Orjeon. It is 15th-century rural Spain, and our main character lives with his father near an abandoned monastery. He knows no one else. All this changes when Diego, a strapping young man, comes to visit. 

Our narrator doesn’t understand what he’s feeling and has no way of understanding or coping with what’s to come. Tragedy is inevitable. 

The script is thick and lyrical; it dives straight into bloody matters early on, and like any werewolf tale, body horror is front and centre. What’s impressive is that they are no effects here, just acting skills, good lighting and clever writing. It is thick with metaphor, but then that’s to be expected with this sort of tale.

The Rotting Hart is a strange brew of sources and inspiration. Historical queer horror with foreign language elements is quite the mix, but it works very well. Mostly this is down to Orejon’s performance, but the distance in time and the fact that some of the dialogue is in Spanish adds to the strangeness and claustrophobia of the piece. It lends a twisted, fairy-tale-like quality to a piece that already heads into The Company of Wolves territory early on.

The narrative is interspersed with bits of Spanish law relating to homosexuality. A translation sheet is provided for those who don’t speak it, but it’s easy to get the gist; the history of ignorance and hate is a long and sorry one. 

The Rotting Hart is a staggering show. This tragic story is both powerful and memorable and a must-see.

stars

2023’s Edinburgh Fringe runs until August 28th. You can find out more about Rotting Hart and their future shows via their website.

You May Also Like...

still from blue beetle feature film 2023 dc studios

BLUE BEETLE Is Being Developed As An Animated Series

Warner Bros. Animation and DC Studios are developing an animated series based centred on Jaime Reyes’ Blue Beetle, which would follow on the 2023 feature film that starred Xolo Maridueña as
Read More
spaceballs 1987 film still

SPACEBALLS Sequel In The Works

A sequel to the 1980s parody film Spaceballs is in early development at Amazon MGM Studios, with Josh Gad and Mel Brooks (who co-wrote, directed, and produced the original) attached
Read More

Next Edition of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Changes Everything

The world’s most played tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, has a new edition on its way; it’s now available for pre-order. This 50th-anniversary edition is wholly compatible with the
Read More
enemy mine still

STAR TREK: PICARD Showrunner To Remake Cult Sci-Fi Film ENEMY MINE

Terry Matalas, the showrunner who helmed the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard, has been tapped to write a remake of the 1985 cult sci-fi movie Enemy Mine,
Read More
naomi scott in teaser trailer for smile 2

The Terror Is Back In SMILE 2 Trailer

Get ready to smile real wide with the first teaser trailer for Paramount Pictures’ Smile 2. Director Parker Finn’s sequel to the 2022 hit is set to release in cinemas
Read More

Meet comedian Ronny Chieng as INSPECTOR SUN in UK cinemas 

The hilarious animated family film Inspector Sun and the Curse of the Black Widow will be released in UK and Irish cinemas on June 21st. It recently received an exclusive early screening at
Read More