Written by: Don Taylor
Monday 10 - Saturday 15th December, 2018
Rachel and Edmund have just bought and renovated a seventeenth century country cottage and invite Dan and Margaret to come and spend Christmas there with them. Margaret gives them a present, a primitive carving of a woman in child-birth, a fertility symbol. Later, Rachel suddenly has a sinister feeling of déjà vu and the electricity suddenly fails. A series of macabre events follow which mount to a bizarre and terrifying climax!
Dan - Steve Rudge
Edmund - Kieron Solf
Margaret - Martha Jenkins
Rachel - Rachael De Courcy Beamish
SceneOne Plus - Chelsea Ball
I must admit, when I was asked to review this play, I was a teensy bit confused as to why the group chose to put on a performance like this so close to Christmas. The title doesn’t allude to a festive theme at all, but as it happens there is an undercurrent of Christmas within the storyline, so my confusion was cleared up almost immediately.
The play, written by Don Taylor, follows Edmund and Rachael who have recently moved into their new country home. At ease with entertaining, they invite Dan and Margaret to the cottage for Christmas Day to share food, fun and their home comforts with the pair. As the evening goes on strange things start to happen and the four suddenly have to consider that there may be something menacing coming their way.
Given the title of the play, the general expectation for me was that this was going to be a spooky horror and I was going to go home a little bit unnerved; I was somewhat disappointed. The script is long-winded and very hard going, and could probably have had about 45 minutes taken out of it without ruining the story. There is a huge amount of conversation throughout and not an awful lot of action. There was a very limited amount of spooky goings on throughout the play, and a constant stream of overly deep thought, consideration and rationalisation.
As Dan, Steve Rudge creates an interesting character. He portrays his deep thinking, thoughtful character well, and delivered some of his more amusing lines with ease. He was paired with Martha Jenkins as Margaret, who played his wife very naturally. They had a good chemistry on stage and made a believable pairing. As Margaret, Martha delivered some excellent, very believable facial expressions which created a good, credible character.
Kieron Solf as Edmund delivered an affluent man, with an inner shame of his roots, well and Rachel De Courcy Beamish played the shy and unassuming Rachel with ease.
Given the situation that the characters were in, there were many lines that were delivered with a lot of calm, whereas in reality there would have been a lot more panic. This made it slightly dull in places, and I think if there was more emphasis on some line delivery it could create a more intense atmosphere for the audience.
This is not a play for an individual who would like to sit back and let their mind wander; it is very deep, and you have to pay attention. If you like assessing the inner workings of the human mind and relative theories, then The Exorcism is for you. There are performances from the 11th – 15th of December at Bournemouth Little Theatre.
Dorset Theatre Reviews - Lyn Richell
This is a ghost story by Don Taylor but I don’t want to summarise the plot as I don’t want to give away the ending. Please go and see it for yourself.
There are four main characters, two couples, who are meeting for Christmas dinner in a newly renovated remote cottage.
Steve Rudge (Dan), Kieron Solf (Edmund), Martha Jenkins (Margaret) and Rachael de Cource Beamish (Rachel) did their best with a very difficult play but, I suspect, first night nerves got in the way.
Act One needed more pace which picked up in Act Two but having established the mystery then the second act should have ramped up the tension but it seemed to remain on the same level as the first act.
Steve Rudge was good as the cynical friend of Ed (Kieron Solf) who was determined to sort out the happenings. Rachael de Courcy Beamish as the slightly unstable Rachel was particularly good in the end scene. Margaret (Martha Jenkins) was the down to earth one, not convinced by the supernatural.
All played their parts well and made a good team.
The sound was good and each level just right. However the lighting was outstanding and how clever were the levels as each candle was moved or blown out. This was the highlight of the evening for me.
The production runs for the rest of the week until Saturday 15th December at 7.45pm.
- CANCELLED: Saturday 21st March 2020, 7.45pm
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- CANCELLED: Monday 30th March to Saturday 4th April 2020, 7.45pm
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- CANCELLED: Tuesday 7th & Wednesday 8th April 2020, 8.00pm
ImpAct Theatre: Nightfall by Joanna Murray-Smith