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LOVEHARD: THE HOUSE ON THE HILL

LoveHard | View Performers Biography

Comedy

Venue:48 Below, Under The Phoenix, 46 Broughton Street Edinburgh EH1 3SA
Phone: 0131 557 0234
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: The Basement Bar
AUG 4-20 at 23:15 (60 min)
 
Show Image

"The laughs are coming from inside the house."

The Kings, a family recently arrived from nearby America, are moving into a newly-acquired property in Scotland. Specifically rural Scotland. Specifically specifically remote rural Scotland. Rumours surround the mysterious mansion and its blood-drenched past, and the locals aren't keen on the new arrivals either. But all the Kings want is a nice, quiet, relatively murder-free area to settle down and forget the problems they've left behind. Will they find the eternal peace they're looking for? Will the house claim them for its own? And will remote rural Scotland ever lose its faint sheen of underlying unnatural terror?

Join two men (LoveHard, in case you hadn't yet realised) for a night of frights, blights and lack of lights on what is almost certainly the first hour-long LoveHard show since Edinburgh began.

Winners of the Ginger Wig & Strolling Man Free Theatre Award 2016 at the Brighton Fringe.

"Wacky, off-the-wall and anarchic... madcap and very funny. 4 STARS." - Reviews Hub, 2016

"A hysterical horror-themed romp... had the whole crowd roaring with laughter. 4 STARS." - Ginger Wig & Strolling Man, 2016

"Simply genius... really was frightening... such an enjoyable evening of comedy and sadistic frights." - Love Midlands Theatre, 2016


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News and Reviews for this Show

August 21, 2016  Fringe Biscuit
Review for LoveHard: The House on the Hill
LoveHard: House on the Hill. @LoveHardComedy pay homage to classic horror stories while making each other laugh as hard as the audience. 4/5 Click Here

August 19, 2016  Broadway Baby
Review for LoveHard: The House on the Hill
Perhaps one of the most entertaining shows I have seen on the Free Fringe, Lovehard consists of comedians Jacob Lovick and Tyler Harding (see what they did there?), who in what is amazingly their first full length Edinburgh show deliver an outrageous horror-comedy.

The House on the Hill is almost impossible not to enjoy.
The Kings are an American family who have moved to rural Scotland; little do they know that they will have to contend with some unhinged locals and spooky goings on in their new home. Right from the off the show is fantastic – and the first joke is mostly just Harding pulling a dramatic face set to scary music! Everything that follows is charmingly lo-fi: together the pair play a total of 25 characters (somehow managing to get a lot of them onstage together near the end), and the occasional late sound cue or corpse actually made it all much more enjoyable than a slicker show.

Working in a tiny performance space (you’ll hardly notice), most of the comedy is verbal rather than visual. The humour is surreal with a fantastic filthy streak, and the audience were in hysterics as the routines get weirder and weirder. There are plenty of satisfying running jokes which are all very odd – they’ll appeal to all but have an enjoyably youthful slant – with a hilariously strange adaptation of the “no legs” meme. The characters are also fabulously off-the-wall, with Lovick’s take on the Scottish locals being a particular highlight.

The show also managed to be fairly creepy in some of the horror scenes, and the familiar tropes of unexplained music and mysterious voices were pulled off well. I saw a plot twist coming early in the story, but it was still very satisfying and unexpectedly hilarious when the big reveal came. The horror vibe provided some great black humour and multiple opportunities to poke fun at the genre – particularly the locals’ inexplicable hostility towards people who “aren’t from round these parts.”
By the end of the performance you’ll have laughed more or less solidly throughout. The surreal humour and hilarious running jokes make this an unexpected delight, providing plenty of reasons to head out to the small venue for the late evening slot. The House on the Hill is almost impossible not to enjoy. Click Here

August 15, 2016  Fringe Guru
Review for LoveHard: The House on the Hill
Horror and comedy are genres you don’t too often see mixed, even in the great melting-pot of the Edinburgh Fringe. That being so, The House on the Hill offers a tantalising promise of late-night chills and laughs based on its premise alone.

Thankfully, the payoff is good. LoveHard, Birmingham-based comedians Jacob Lovick and Tyler Ross, have crafted something that stands as a decent comedy, occupying similar space to narrative sketch but with slightly more theatrical elements. And they also deliver a genuinely sinister atmosphere throughout.

The story follows an American family, the Kings, who move to a remote Scottish village to escape their traumatic past – only to take up residence in a mysterious mansion with its own bloody tale to tell. The prologue setup is quick and crisp, and establishes a nice tone that allows Lovick and Ross to flit between spooky and funny with ease. The protagonists are also well-realised and distinctive, important in a show promising “2 men, 25 characters.”

The broader cast of antagonistic village-folk is patchier, and it was perhaps ambitious to attempt quite so many different variations on a comedy Scottish accent – particularly when performing in Scotland. The characters become somewhat indistinguishable, either as personalities or in terms of geography, with voices occasionally ranging accidentally into parts of the world far, far away from Caledonia. Some of the broader comedy felt out-of-place: a diversion with a pair of street vendors hawking dildos was unwelcome, although a sequence with a mango and a scripted fourth-wall break worked better. A later bit of improv-inspired corpsing also hit the mark, and mixed things up a little.

I was left wondering if they could have gone even further towards the horror side of the scale: a creepy power outage scene was well staged at the mid-point, and the finale wove in a fine horror trope that could have been played for even more scares. As it was, they went for the laugh, with an absurd and hilarious exposition that undercut the tension they’d built – intentionally, but just maybe too heavily.

Although not quite as deft at deploying the macabre as, say, a group like Casual Violence, the LoveHard pair have nonetheless achieved something with The House on the Hill. It’s a welcome addition to the line-up on the free festival, and well worth a visit down the hill on Broughton Street if you want midnight frights with your late laughs. Click Here

July 2, 2016 What's On
No holds barred, laugh a minute comedy.
Talented Birmingham comedians, Jacob Lovick and Tyler Ross (aka Lovehard) delivered a no holds-barred, laugh a minute comedy in an enjoyable night of frights and bizarre characters in the House on the Hill at the OJS. Playing an American couple, the Kings, they move to very remote rural Scotland to receive a cold welcome from the locals who inform them of terrible events at their mansion. Desperately trying to bury their own shady past, the Kings experience all sorts of unexplained and funny events before they reach the truth. The two riotous leads never missed a beat, keeping the jokes coming with lightning quick delivery, and there were only two of them! Morphing into wildly different characters and accents in the same breath, their easy chemistry offset a remarkable comedic spontaneity and ease. I felt it started off strong, with a repertoire of wacky jokes and situations (the running joke about the babies and a certain, ahem, item was particularly good), but I zoned out towards the middle as they struggled to maintain the hilarity and pace. The genuinely creepy lights out section with the shrieking howls was also the best part, and it needed more of these moments to keep the momentum going. But the roaring audience showed a whole lot of love for Lovehard, and my very funny friend thought they were hilarious too! They managed to create a darkly atmospheric world of frights and suspense which kept us guessing in a small space and even smaller imeframe. Let’s hope the folks at the Edinburgh Festival show the same enthusiasm for this gifted Brummie duo!

Reviewed by Malaka Chowdhury Click Here

June 12, 2016 Love Midlands Theatre
LoveHard: The House on the Hill
Fresh from its performances at the Brighton Fringe Festival and prior to its appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe this August, Love Hard present their newest play The House On The Hill at the Old Joint Stock, Birmingham for a one-off preview performance. For just an hour, the audience is transported on the journey of an American family who move to rural Scotland to live on the ominous ‘House on the Hill’. What ensues is simply genius and ends with a rather unexpected twist… followed by yet another macabre gag.

Firstly, the two actors (Tyler Ross and Jacob Lovick) must be applauded on their ability to not only present over 30 characters between them but also for their quick-witted improvisation skills. These moments became rather key to the plot and although corpsing was inevitably expected, it did somewhat add to the intimacy of the performance and made it specific to that audience – one particular moment involved a gag where Jacob spontaneously pulled out a mango which caught his co-actor by surprise and caused a few moments of respite away from the plot before moving back to the fast-paced tale.

Juxtaposition was also key to the comedy of the play with moments of utter hilarity contrasted with some particularly fear inducing ‘walkie-talkie’ moments. There was a moment where all the lights went down as the priest performed a religious act on the house and it was so cleverly put together with just the two actors that it felt as if there were lots more people in the room and really was frightening.

The technical elements of the play were simple and consisted of lots of sound effects, which played in turn with the comedy to support the 2 actors who held the show. Few lighting cues were used but were fairly effective in shifting the scenes from day to night and to, at times, add intensity to the play. The tech was completed by a line of hanging carnival bulbs above the stage to set the scene of the Scottish pier and I suppose one thing that would have been nice to see in addition, would have been an integrated set and quick costume changes. This is something that similar small cast, improvised productions, such as the 39 Steps, does particularly well and increases the comedy of the piece hugely. However, for such a small space, the actors substituted the lack of set well with their clear characterization and use of accents to move us through the story.

Thank you LoveHard for such an enjoyable evening of comedy and sadistical frights. If you didn’t catch it in Birmingham, then be sure to see LoveHard: The House on the Hill at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 4-20 August. Click Here

June 11, 2016  The Reviews Hub
LoveHard: The House on the Hill
One of the great things about small fringe venues like the Old Joint Stock is that they can host productions that are simply not possible in larger venues as they would be too risky. The latest of these is comedy duo LoveHard’s The House on the Hill, being honed prior to appearing in Edinburgh this summer.

Running at around an hour, The House on the Hill is almost more an extended sketch than a play, part scripted and part improvised. An American family is moving into a house in a remote part of Scotland. The house seemingly has a spooky history, and the locals are far from welcoming to strangers too – but all the incomers want is to settle down and escape from their past. It’s a comedy ghost story, and the material is in some places very adult – it’s also whacky, off-the-wall and anarchic with some distinct echoes of the sort of thing you might have seen on television in Monty Python’s Flying Circus and similar sketch shows.

The duo, Jacob Lovick and Tyler Harding, play more than 30 characters between them, American and Scottish, young and old, male and female. If you’ve seen the recent stage version of The 39 Steps you’ll know the sort of thing – though here the different personalities are presented using only physicality and characterisation, rather than costume. The set is practically non-existent – just some boxes and lamps with the whole effect being created using some appropriate sound effects and the skills of the performers.

Harding and Lovick do what they do well, though the improvised comedy nature of the piece makes it difficult for them to keep their faces straight sometimes – but in many ways that adds to the enjoyment of the production, and makes the audience feel part of the joke. They certainly manage to clearly differentiate the large number of different characters they’re presenting, not an easy thing to do when you have no costume to fall back on.

It’s not going to set the world alight – but if you’re a fan of Monty Python, Not the Nine O’Clock News and Rik Mayall, and you come along prepared for material that some may find distasteful bordering on offensive, you’ll have a great time.

Madcap, anarchic, and very funny. Click Here

May 29, 2016  Ginger Wig & Strolling Man
LoveHard at Laughing Horse @ The Hobgoblin
Some times the best things in life are free. In this case it was the entertaining free comedy due of Jacob and Tyler presenting us with a hysterical horror themed romp in deepest darkest Scotland. With a host of over 20 character played between the two chaps, they covered accents all across the British Isles in great style.

A young American family have just moved into their new home in Scotland, having left a dark secret behind in America. The unfriendly locals are less than happy to have another American family move in, but luckily they are moving into a haunted house. But is it really haunted or is this just another case of a militant Scottish community trying to keep yanks out?

The boys entertained us with their slick style, silly accents, and loosely structured play, that was open to the odd improvised gag. The blocked exhaust pipe had us in stitches, whilst the host of unusual pier salesman, had the whole crowd roaring with laughter. They also created some very creepy moments through the use of clever lighting and walkie talkies.

Simple and very effective. Comedy doesn’t need to be harder than this. Great storytelling and great fun. Catch them before they finish!

Highlight of the show – Vendors selling babies to throw at dildos, and selling dildos to throw at babies.

WIGS 4/5

The Ginger Wig
 Click Here

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