RUMBLING thunder, flickering lights and a fireside setting make The Attic Theatre’s Halloween offering just the tonic for a chilly October eve.
The Haunting – written by Hugh Janes and inspired by Dickens – features the production’s multifaceted director John Robert Partridge as Lord Gray, and Robert Moore as young book dealer David Filde hired by Gray to value his late father’s book collection.
Central to the story is its library setting, Filde’s room in the eerie manor house – whose imagined existence looms in shadowy corners and rattling doorways, which give way to things that go more than just bump in the night.
And the gloomy lighting, cobwebbed chandeliers, and shabby professor appeal immediately makes you want to put your feet up on the mahogany desk, swig a brandy and settle in for the ride.
The dialogue is wonderfully verbose in true Dickensian style and perfectly delivered in Queen’s English – evoking the kind of grandiose facade of middle-class Victorian families embroiled in scandal.
On their journey, the duo overcome a series of trust issues as Filde experiences strange goings-on reinforced by frightening tales he has gathered through village hearsay. Gray on the other hand accuses Filde of trickery, when books toss themselves from shelves and candles topple from the mantelpiece without warning.
But eventually the cynical Lord Gray comes around to the possibility they may not be alone in the house, a revelation which escalates into a crescendo of black-outs and eerie whispers, and a nightmarish discovery reveals unpleasant home truths for both parties.
The show with its evocative setting and descriptive dialogue, makes for both an immersive and transportive experience, one which will certainly keep you looking over your shoulder on the journey home.
The Haunting runs until November 3.
For tickets, priced £15 (£12 concessions), visit www.theattictheatre.co.uk, or call the box office on 07952 819557.
Note the show features moments of black out, loud noises and jump scares.