Sussex Playwrights Reviews
by David Wells
Atomic Force Productions
Brighton Horrorfest 2019
There have always been stories of hauntings, curses and demonic possession.
Sam and Ali have been charged with disposing of their late neighbour Eric’s papers – without looking at them. So of course, they can’t resist a peek, and are drawn into a strange tale of horror, murder and devotion.
Wells’ script is an intricate and loving exploration of the link between music and mystery, taking in the notion of the musician who sells his soul to the devil, cursed songs and the urban legend of the 27 Club – the roll call of rock stars who met their end at the age of 27. There’s an engrossing murder mystery here too, unfolded through a discovered journal.
Mobiles are used as torches, sources of information and jokes about social media, so we’re firmly in the here and now, as the story delves into the past. Sweetwerks’ simple black box space is well used by directors Mill Goble and Wells, although some action on the floor might be difficult for anyone beyond the front row to see. Projection of social media posts and newspaper cuttings has great scope for more – in contrast, the ‘gore’ of one image sat uneasily with the literary exploration of the mystery’s gradual reveal.
As Sam, Tabitha Wild’s sparky performance is assured and entertaining, with Jack West’s Ali her petulantly funny foil. Gordon Foggo delivers great contrast with strange and otherworldly intensity as Eric, trapped in the terrible truth of his wife’s death, spinning his tale through journal extracts.
It’s an engrossing exploration, and left me with the urge to delve deeper into the weird tales touched on throughout the play.
October 23/24 20.00
Details and tickets: https://m.facebook.com/events/525900304887313