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“THE HAUNTING”


A great start to 2017, a very atmospheric and tense production – that indeed left us wondering how much was fact and how much a dream.


Technically I was bowled over, the opening with a crash of thunder, lightning and rain projected onto the tabs alerted the audience to the feel of the production, and gave us a taste of what was to come.


The scenery, designed by Alistair Brown, and the way it was moved by the Fates was excellent – every little nuance in the script and the scenes appeared to be almost seamless, a lot of thought and rehearsal must have gone into getting it so slick.


Craig Fisher had engineered some very good graphics, which were projected onto the scenery, I liked the way the scenery was moved to be in the right place to catch the projections – so clever.  The use of pieces of paper, made into a square and held by the Fates to project Mary’s face and lines was also a clever ploy, as it needed to be brighter and more focussed than the other projections, which was definitely achieved.


The whole production had an eerie feel to it, until the very end, when normality seemed to ensue, and one wondered if it was a dream, or a premonition, or something entirely different, I was intrigued.


I loved the way Lynette Driver choreographed the moves of the Fates, so that they moved slowly and deliberately, with very precise and exaggerated hand movements, but were always in the right place at the right time, ready to open doors, hand the cast props, or move scenery, a fascinating concept.


The Fates were played by Anna Carter-Brown, Denise Ryan, Katie Hanbury, Sarah Wilkinson and Graham Thomas.  I liked their costumes, they kept them in the background but seemed very in-keeping with the overall feel of the play.


The two main parts were played by Ollie Hope, as David Filde the young book dealer visiting the house, who may or may not have had a very unsettling dream, and Alan Goss as Lord Gray, the owner of the property, who appeared as an almost ghostly figure for most of the play, then at the end when Mr Filde woke up, turned into a rather jolly person.


I liked the way these two played off each other, Ollie was very much the young man about town, projecting really well, with Alan (who appeared to require a number of prompts) being rather quieter more a world-weary older man.


Yasmin Ryan played the ghost of Mary, who was Mr Filde’s sister, and who had somehow got wrapped up into the household.  She looked very ghostlike, with a calm about her, despite being disturbed by events.


I liked the bows, they kept the rather eerie atmosphere, whilst allowing us to acknowledge the high level of performance from the cast.


I thought this was a technically brilliant production, with a super cast that really manipulated the audience, and gave us an evening to remember.









Dunstable Rep

“THE HAUNTING”

review date:21st January 2017

Little Theatre, Dunstable

Director:  Alistair Brown Choreographer:  Lynette Driver

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