Let’s be honest, we all have a view on the paranormal, but usually, you’re a believer, or completely against it. Either way, the mere mention of it can spark an uneasy feeling among a lot of us. That’s exactly what happens to non-believer John Blondel (Will Barton) when his latest guest, ‘The Speaker’ (Alex Phelps) arrives to discuss his latest book ‘When Darkness Falls’ for John’s new Vlog.
The premise is simple: the speaker has five stories to tell, all set within the island of Guernsey throughout centuries. To John, they’re the stuff of folklore, but to the speaker, they’re much more.
We instantly get this feeling of isolation from the set (Justin Williams), a small and dainty office room that feels eerie before anything’s even happened. The brilliant lighting and sound design build up with efficacy tension and suspense.
As for the pair on stage, they bounce off each other throughout, stepping in and out of characters involved in the stories as the speaker regales with the horrors of the island. John tries to do his best to show how against the paranormal he really is, but strange happenings around the couple: his macho bravado begin to diminish as he succumbs to the acceptance that these stories might not be just stories. Phelps does a fantastic job at commanding the stage; throughout the entirety of the show he adds drama and tension to anything he says or does: he makes the room feel unsettling even without the effects.
What may seem a slow start quickly becomes a fast-paced, intense ghost ride from co-writers Paul Morrissey and James Milton that may just have you leaving that hallway light on that night.
Runs till September 4th.
Review: George Butler Photo: Pamela Raith