Claws, presented by Candle House Collective, is an interactive show lasting around 30-40 minutes on a phone call. Not only did the unique set up of the show excite me: the whole experience left me on edge to go to sleep- and I loved it! Previously set up by a few instructions on email, 11:59pm came around and my phone rang. I wasn’t prepared for the next 40 minutes of immersive story-telling.
A true modern horror, Danny, played by Vincent D’Avanzo, had me gripped from the first pant he let out as I answered the phone. My brain was working in overdrive to evaluate the characterisation, story, sounds and emotions that I was confronted with. I was chaotically thrown into Danny’s life, and despite the fictional elements that couldn’t possibly seem real, I completely believed it. The playful psychology of having my own phone, in my own room, and yet being transcended into Danny’s world was magical. D’Avanzo seamlessly responds to my advice and replies, which shows his highly engaged character, as we have to remember the wildly different responses that he would receive from each audience member each time. As someone who gets a kick from horror, I was pleasantly challenged with my own emotions and responses- which meant I could reflect on why and how I dealt with the circumstance I was faced with.
This piece successfully unsettled me, and held a few lessons of reflection to take away. However, I do believe there should be a few more trigger warnings. Though not of a nervous disposition, I did find a few moments terribly distressing and awkward. I was asked a rather personal question, that didn’t phase me, but I wonder if asked to the wrong person, could trigger some deep upset. Despite this, I loved the unique set up; challenging tasks and brilliant acting. The ending left me speechless, confused, guilty and astounded. I think it is important when a show makes you feel something afterwards, whether those are good or bad emotions. The sound effects especially pleased me, and I will defiantly be talking about this for a long time! Big congratulations to the whole team, pulling off such a successful piece during a time where most conventional theatre is on pause.
Tickets for this show are sold out currently, but keep an eye out for their other work!
Review: Isabelle Tyner