Wednesday, 5 August 2020

"The Black Veil" by
John Goodrum
Colin McIntyre's Classic Thriller Season.
The story, based on the classic Charles Dickens' classic thriller, is introduced and narrated by Andrew Ryan from the safety of one of the Nottingham Theatre Royal's boxes.
Now there is something quite un-nerving about an empty theatre. Anyone who has stood in a theatre on their own will feel that maybe they aren't quite as alone as they feel, and the decision to film this story on the stage of the empty Nottingham Theatre Royal, only adds to that spooky atmosphere, especially the lights from the balconies which strangely look like evil onlookers.
Newly-qualified doctor Stephen Ruggles (Chris Brookes) has just arrived home on a stormy winter’s evening and is nodding off by the fire when his slumber is interrupted by a female visitor.
A mysteriously-veiled elderly woman, Ada Crawlings, (Sarah Wynne Kordas) arrives begs him to visit a nameless patient at 9am, the following morning. Against his better judgement, Ruggles agrees, and settles back to his repose.
Ruggles gets into conversation with Ada and tells her that he is planning to bring his fiancee, Rose, down to London, but he has to impress his future Brother in Law, Simon by his surroundings first.
In the morning Ruggles attends a corpse at Ada's creepy abode in Limehouse, who we discover to be Ada's Grandson, Billy. Ada is out for revenge for the death of Billy and wants Luke, a shady small time crook, dead.
Enter Luke Gunford (
John Goodrum
), a menacing low life crook, seemingly unafraid to murder both the young doctor as well as old Ada. But Luke knows more than first appears and some of these characters are not quite who, or what they seem!
There are twists and turns from this moment on with the past coming back to haunt someone and deceit and murder just around the corner, with even more surprises for at least one of these characters.
The sound effects create the kind of images in your mind that will make your mind wander into your own unknown, painting pictures in your mind.
The editing, by Sarah and John, is cleverly carried out to move the story on in a way that live theatre would have had the usual problems with, making the play look and feel more like a film, just without the scenery.
Directed by
Karen Henson
and wonderful performances from Chris Brookes,
Sarah Wynne Kordas
and
John Goodrum
, as well as the vampire-esque appearance of narrator, Andrew Ryan, to send shivers down your spine.
The Sound Design is by David Gilbrook.
This is definitely one to watch for fans of all thrillers, and especially the many many fans of Tabs Productions excellent Colin McIntyre's Thriller Season. It's also one that I hope they reprise in front of a live audience because it has all the trademarks of their much loved productions from the past.
You can catch this online production on Youtube and via the Nottingham Theatre Royal and Concert Hall Youtube channel.
Sweet dreams.........

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