Eden Court’s OneTouch Theatre
This one woman show invokes three Gothic Horror Stories, whose theme explores the supernatural and uncanny. They are all penned by female writers, who despite being revered in their time, are now largely forgotten in favour of their male counterparts.
The scene is set with only a brown leather chair, a red rug and a table upon which stands a gold goblet and candelabra holding three candles. A lone female character enters dressed in a fitting black Victorian dress, addresses the audience and then begins to recall these macabre tales.
The first haunting story which is based on Mary E Braddons “The Cold Embrace”tells of young love between an artist and his cousin Gertrude. The next two tales “The Five Senses” and “The Shadow”were from Edith Nesbit. The Five Senses, a strange story of science and experimentation was reminiscent of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. The snuffing of one of the three candles ingeniously signifies the end of each mysterious tale and gently guides the audience to the next story.
Rebecca Vaughan has a strong stage presence that mesmerises and draws you in. She conjures up characters in your mind with a clever combination of mime, expressive voice and direct address. The subtle use of lighting which casts eerie shadows, mixed with the occasional sound effects builds tension and creates a ominous tone. The odd moment of humour brings contrast to an otherwise intense performance. This simple storytelling creates chills and is the perfect antidote to today’s sensory overload.
A perfect end to Halloween weekend, a flawless, thought provoking performance that plays on your imagination and has made me want to discover more from these female writers. Highly recommended. FOUR STARS
Reviewer: Zoe Gwynne