by Hugh Janes.
Adapted from the ghost stories of Charles Dickens.
The Jack Studio Theatre
Brockley Jack, 410 Brockley Road, London SE4 2JH to 3 January 2016.
Tues- Sat 7.45pm. No performances 13, 14, 20, 23-27 December & 1 January.
Runs 85mins No interval.
Review: William Russell 10 December.
An old dark house and ghosts – it’s Christmas!
No pantomime at the Jack as usual, but a splendid ghost story created by Hugh Janes from various Dickens short stories. In a decaying manor house, somewhere in Scotland judging by the accent of the owner, Lord Gray, a young book dealer from London, David Filde, has come to assess the contents of the library. He has been put in the bedroom which once belonged to the Lord’s father and naturally things go bump in the night, branches rattle against the window, an apparition appears trying to come in and a voice crying “Help me,” echoes around the room, as well as other beautifully conjured up manifestations.
It is classic horror stuff beautifully directed by Kate Bannister with a fine set by Karl Swinyard dripping cobwebs and decay with places for apparitions to use as means of getting on and off surprising the audience the while. It is all explained in the end – well almost explained. In ghost stories there is always doubt remaining.
Robert Durbin suffers the agonies of the young man trapped overnight with things from beyond the grave in style and is, of course, not what he seems, as is Lord Gray. Jamie Laird, suitably enigmatic as the Lord, suggests Filde is making a lot of fuss about nothing and seems more anxious to get as much money for his father’s library as possible than believe what he is told. But it is clear he too has other things on his mind. Janes, an actor turned playwright, has given the players lots to go on and provided thrills and chills to run up and down the spine in plenty for the audience.
David Filde: Robert Durbin.
Lord Gray: Jamie Laird.
Mary: Julia Pagett.
Director: Kate Bannister.
Set Design: Karl Swinyard.
Lighting Design: William Ingham.
Sound Design: Philip Matejtschuk.