The Mist in the Mirror - Theatre ☆☆☆☆4

Showing from - Tuesday, May 5, 2015 through till Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lawrence Batley Theatre - Huddersfield

Louise Halliwell | Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Mist in the Mirror reviewed by Louise Halliwell on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 for Downstage CentreA dark and murky past: tension mounts in 'The Mist in the Mirror' at Huddersfield's Lawrence Batley Theatre.

Adapted by Ian Kershaw from the book by Susan Hill, “The Mist in the Mirror” is a classic ghost story that has the audience gripped to the edge of their seats.

 

The book was first published in 1992, and this run marks the stage premiere of the adaptation.  I had high expectations of  “The Mist in the Mirror” as it follows in the footsteps of Hill’s earlier novel “The Woman in Black”.  This production by the Oldham Coliseum Theatre didn’t disappoint.

From the clever front of house opening announcements, the tone was set and the audience were taken on a journey of discovery with James Monmouth (played by Paul Warriner) as the plot winds its way from dark and smoky Edwardian London dockyards to the bleak, snow covered Yorkshire Moors – two great backdrops for any good ghost story!

Chilling

The first thing that struck me about this production was the excellent use of video techniques, lighting and sound by Imitating the Dog.  Although the stage was kept relatively free from props, the clever technical design created an unnerving ambiance within the auditorium and transported the audience back in time to a different world – you could sense the rain falling, almost taste the smoggy air and feel an icy chill of a ghostly presence.  

The play recounts James Monmouth’s diary of events as he traces the footsteps of the traveller Conrad Vane, seeking to understand his life and story.   The small cast of 5 excelled at creating and building the atmospheric tensionDespite warnings and cautions from those around him, Monmouth pursues his journey and unwittingly discovers a dark and murky past. The story switches seamlessly between the reader recounting the journal (played by Jack Lord) and the author, Monmouth, as events unfold. Together, the small cast of 5 excelled at creating and building the atmospheric tension throughout the production.  There were moments of audible gasps of fright from the audience, and points where I wanted to look away for fear of what might happen in the next few seconds.  The story moved at pace and gripped everyone from start to finish, with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

Classic Ghost Story

This production has everything you would want from a classic ghost story – a solid plot, good characterisation and tension to create a sense of unease. I’d highly recommend going to see it should you get the opportunity. It’s a flawless and transfixing production that had me looking over my shoulder on the way back to the car!  Not to be missed.


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Production Information


Theatre: Lawrence Batley Theatre

Showing Until: Saturday, May 9, 2015

Production Company: Oldham Coliseum Theatre

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