In a change of direction I scrolled through the horror plays listed in this year’s Scenesaver online festival. Being a few weeks into the experience I recall that it has been easy to view their productions at the click of a button. I stopped at the title ‘Alice’s shadow’. The Thornhill Theatre Space presented Alice as a damsel in distress.
For a short 12 minute play written by Chloe Gorman who has successfully made a transition into theatre she boldly established her production company ‘Moth Sanctuary Productions’. The ‘Whispers in the dark’ has the dark side of things to express. Chloe and her friend and actor Andrew Bate sat together for a short interview about their roots and aspirations; it was Andrew who was to read her short tale about shadows.
The writing straight away had the effect of fear put in by Andrew as he revelled in the occasion. It cleverly climbed in our minds as a thing of terror. Alice lay in bed with her partner Gabriel (who had a big role in consoling her.) She suffered hallucinations that were quite severe and during this night she saw a shadow at her window that appeared to be moving.
We could do nothing to aid her as she distressed over the dark encounter. Both Chloe and Andrew find that the potential in this genre of writing are huge and varied. We sampled her work and found the descriptive juices leading somewhere with extenuated rolling of the tongue reaching something of a poetic in style framing the words with passion.
The shadow was Horror brought to life. In its terrifying presence poor Alice lay so still questioning in her mind for what was real in what was happening to her. Just as we felt that the story placed us in its very heart. The description of the shadow was ever changing. It was black with tendrils; making impossible movements up the sheer wall to the ceiling. Alice must have wondered about her own sanity.
For minutes we were taken deep into its plunging darkness but for Alice the episode at last abated, in cold sweat all around she found herself left peaceful on her bed. She turned to Gabriel seeking solace from her terrified state.
He turned round but it was not him that she saw his eyes were wrong. There was timing in this short performance that was exquisitely enunciated by Andrew. He broadcast the psychologically disturbing horror with a focus that wouldn’t let you go.
From this writer/actor relationship the story backed their feelings that horror can step up as a valid form of literature. Its appeal was filled with a richness that glowed as we imagined the words dripping from her pen letting out her whims of daemons and ghosts.
Cleverly leaving the story with the question remaining whither it was real or not for Alice, Gabriel or perhaps most importantly us the audience.
Alice’s shadow grew in the room in a swirling, dark and murky yet resplendently well dressed and tastefully presented show. They had my interests sparked and inspired with a story to creep into my subconscious in a way that seemed to have its own will. And its message’s can be understood in many ways but who would make the right one.