The Haunting at the Jack Studio Theatre
The Jack Studio Theatre in Brockley has a terrifying tale for anyone brave enough to venture inside this festive period.
The Haunting is a production that amalgamates many of Charles Dickens’ spookiest ghost-stories; it at times has its audience on the very edge of their seats with a burning desire both to watch more and leave the theatre, the postcode and maybe even the country. The plot is centred around the owner of a grand house in Scotland who invites a bookseller into his abode to assess the value of a selection of very aged books.
The play by Hugh Janeswriter (of the Curse of the Phoenix, which was nominated in the Best Film category in the 2015 British Horror Film Festival) opens with the bookseller sleeping on a wooden chair as a storm buffets the outside of the house. As the story develops, the special effects grow more complicated and become a key component in building the tension. It is only the occasionally poor acoustics of a few voice-recordings that stop the audience thoroughly believing that something from beyond the grave is haunting the stage.
The two leads, Robert Durbin and Jamie Laird, are highly experienced actors and give an encapsulating performance that has the audience hanging on their every word.
The story ebbs and flows nicely until the concluding moments, which are a little anti-climactic. As the story begins to tie its loose ends up, there are a couple of more farcical elements as people run about the stage in apparently disorganised chaos. However, this fails to undo any of the unnerving moments of the preceding scenes and the walk home is filled with a lot of self-assurances that there are no such things as ghosts…. right?
The Haunting is on at The Jack Studio Theatre from 8th December 2015 until 3rd January 2016, for further information or to book visit here.