The Chair at the Unicorn
The atmosphere is smoky, the theatre is dimly lit, and there are jars of God-knows-what and boards of dead insects on the shelves. The Unicorn has transformed their Clore Theatre into a truly fabulous set for eerie hour-long show The Chair, complete with leaky roofs and the distant sound of the sea.
Relying heavily on the audience’s imagination, the guide for the evening is Owain (Gary Lagden), the best cut-throat razor-wielding barber/dentist in Tiger Bay. Along with his mostly silent assistant, Lars (Christopher Preece), Owain spins the audience several tales from his travels across the seas, covering everything from unexplained myths to lost romances. The set design is fantastic, and the show is both captivating and undeniably spooky. Gary Lagden’s performance is brilliant, shifting seamlessly from one character to the next with only accents and body language to help him along. Through the use of sound effects, the low light, and a few gimmicks here and there, it’s easy to slip into the dreamlike world of Tiger Bay.
Billed for ages seven and up, the show is clearly very attractive to children: there’s a large amount of audience participation, at no point does the plot drag, and there are even a few catchy songs. This, however, does not detract from the appeal for adults, which is truly The Chair’s strongpoint. The spooky tales strike a perfect balance between child-friendliness and enough complexity to keep adults entertained. For any concerned parents, while creepy enough to have adults jumping out of their skins, The Chair is not so creepy that there will be any lingering nightmares.
The only gripe is, if anything, that the show feels a little too short, cutting off just where it might truly delve into something deeper and terrifying, but as it stands, it’s a truly incredible show.
The Chair is on at the Unicorn Theatre from 20th March until 12th April 2015, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for The Chair here:
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