Buffy Revamped: A bloody fantastic experience with Spike at Lighthouse Immersive Toronto

When Spike the Bloody comes to town, you'd better stay away from dark alleys and cemeteries. Equip yourself with holy water, garlic, and emergency wooden stakes. However, when Spike takes the stage to share some storytelling and pine over a cute yet deadly blonde, you should be first in line to secure a front-row seat and enjoy the pour of honest feelings from a frustrated vampire. "I may be dirt, but you're the one who likes to roll in it, Slayer." 'Buffy Revamped' makes its North American debut at Lighthouse Immersive Toronto.

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Full of excitement and a little bit of teenage girl nervousness from meeting one of my vampire crushes from the past, I stepped into Lighthouse Arthouse Toronto with high expectations. I was immediately met with true Buffy fans dressed in merch, leather jackets, or boots and grabbed a Vampire Kiss cocktail from the bar.

Buffy Revamped

Yes, this is really it. I stepped into the Buffy world and was in Sunnydale, ready to relive my favourite TV show. Seventy minutes. Seven seasons. One Spike. Buffy Revamped,’ a parody created and brilliantly performed by comedian Brendan Murphy and directed by Hamish MacDougall, is a fast-paced one-man show based on the iconic hit TV show from the ’90s, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.‘ The entire 144 episodes of the show are told through Spike’s perspective, who recounts it just as it was. For him.

The magical and dark vampire atmosphere was even more prominent on the stage, where Spike gave the audience a tour through the show’s main events. The 19th-century Vampire Slayer Killer (two deaths of slayers to his name!) from London introduced the main characters and didn’t hold back on sharing what he really thought about them. This deadly honesty of an anti-hero was hilarious and worked amazingly on die-hard Buffy fans and new audiences alike.

There wasn’t any dull moment and zero opportunities to get bored as every minute brought a new scene, new information about the Scooby gang (Buffy, Willow, Xander), new characters (Anya, Tara, Dawn, Glory), or a new joke aimed at the perpetually brooding Angel and his soul. Do not expect mundane storytelling; be prepared for creative ways to shed light on main events, pop culture references, some true pub vampire singing, and nostalgia hidden in cleverly chosen props on the stage with precisely planned sound effects and lighting.

Visitors unfamiliar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer may feel lost from time to time (understandable, you’re introducing the whole world to them!), but the bitterness and baby cries of a man with a broken heart will have them laughing just as much. Improvised audience interactions resulted from Brendan’s natural humorous talent and left me crying from laughter.

‘Buffy Revamped’ was recognized with awards such as Best One-Person Show and Best Comedy Performance at the DarkChat Awards and is officially the Best Reviewed Comedy Show of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023. Everyone thirsty to return to Sunnydale and experience a world with vampires, vampire slayers, and some proper ’90s high school drama should head to Lighthouse Immersive and enjoy an absolutely incredible 70 minutes with brilliant Brendan Murphy. His performance was “bloody” fantastic.


Maria Rostecka picture
Maria Rostecka

Author: Maria Rostecka, Content Specialist for The Onside Media, Canada. She is based in Toronto, Ontario. If you have any stories to share, please feel free to reach out: maria.rostecka@theonside.com

SOURCELighthouse Art Space, Toronto

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