Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Classic Ghosts (theatre)

I think I last blogged about Jack Shepherd in December 2012 when he appeared in a performance of Dickens' A Christmas Carol at Seaford Little Theatre. Now he is 'doing Dickens' again as part of a double bill of ghost stories at Eastbourne's Devonshire Park Theatre with the Middle Ground Theatre Company (Cadfael: Virgin In The Ice, Importance of Being Earnest). First night is a week today.

The Signalman by Charles Dickens, been adapted by Francis Evelyn, is the exquisitely unnerving tale of a tormented signalman who is haunted by visions of impending disaster on his isolated stretch of line. Can a well meaning traveller, who chances upon the lonely signal box while out walking, calm the man’s fears before he spirals into self destruction?

Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come To You, My Lad By M.R.James has been adapted by Margaret May Hobbs. I heard this story recently as it was the +Audible.co.uk Christmas giveaway for members. This is the story of Professor Parker, a Cambridge academic on an out of season holiday at a bleak English coast hotel. At an old graveyard near a deserted beach he finds an old bone whistle. On cleaning it, he discovers the inscription: “Quis est iste qui venit” (“Who is this who is coming?”). Blowing the whistle he awakens a disturbing supernatural force. A terrifying ordeal follows and though his scepticism tries to dismiss his unearthly encounters, his eyes and ears cannot.

Both plays have been designed and directed by Michael Lunney. Jack Shepherd will be joined by Terrence Hardiman (The Demon Headmaster/Cadfael), Dicken Ashworth (Coronation Street/Emmerdale), James Morley, Jenny-May Darcy and Greg Fitch.

Devonshire Park, Tue 22nd to Sat 26th Apr, 19:45.
Wed and Sat matinees, 14:30.
Tickets various prices, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person at Eastbourne Theatres Box Offices and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

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