The Haunting of Hill House

Date 13th October 2018
Society Westovian Theatre Society
Venue Pier Pavilion South Shields
Type of Production Play
Director Adam Ramsey

Report

Author: Foster Johnson

Based on the novel of Shirley Jackson and adapted for the stage by F. Andrew Leslie The Haunting of Hill House tells the harrowing tale of a group of psychic phenomena chasers who visit the house to investigate the supposed supernatural events that have occurred there over a number of years. The House has a malignant magnetic effect on them and slowly draws them into its web whereby deep seated fears and past experiences are exposed and test the basest level of human thoughts and actions through their inter action with each other.

The play was put into the hands of Adam Ramsey who was making his Directorial debut. This was not an easy play on which to commence your career, and overall he made a good fist of it. His set design, lighting, and sound were first class and he had the support of the excellent Westovian Technical Crew who came up trumps once again in this area.

On the downside however, and notwithstanding the detailed libretto which was perhaps difficult to cut, I felt that in places the production lacked pace and was too drawn out, and that from audience feedback they may have wished for more light and shade and action rather than dialogue. The caveat to this is of course that it is not as easy to do this as people may think. 

So far as the cast itself was concerned the quality of acting was of the Company’s usual high standard. With complicated and wordy dialogue to deliver, they did so faultlessly without one prompt throughout the Show.  The diverse traits, fears and expectations of the seven characters were excellently portrayed and well delivered by Georgina Whale –Spencer (Eleanor Vance) Mary Stephinson (Mrs Dudley) Dani Heslop (Theodora) Jim Barton (Dr.Montague) Jack Young (Luke Sanderson) Hannah Potter (Mrs Montague) and Tristan Gaines (Arthur Parker)   Over all another good Westovian experience and evening