Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
Thursday 11th August
Not to be confused with Ducktales; a Disney show from the early 90s about Scrooge McDuck and his grand-nephews Huey,
Louie and Dewey. It’s easy to confuse the two, and when we recommend this show we woldn’t want you getting out your
Launchpad McQuack (oh yes!) costume and racing over to Pleasance with ‘Life is like a hurricane’ playing in your ears.
True, the lead actor does look a bit like Scrooge McDuck, but that’s where the similarities end; no Beagle Boys in site.
Instead, what you get is an opening ghost tale of spectral encounters, followed by a creepy interchange between a school
teacher and one of his former disgruntled students who, it seems, did not take kindly to the teacher’s highly critical approach
to his classwork. Blaming the teacher for the demise of his career away from creative writing into…creative journalism, the
two exchange in a heated discussion until the true nature of the meeting is revealed.
It is hard to write horror, as so much of it has been done in the past, and whilst this is not a massively original piece it has
enough going for it to be worthy of your attention. In the whole it is well acted, albeit the actor playing the student does have
a tendency to rush his lines which ruins the tension in his own recital of a ghost story towards the end of the play. The female
character of Lucy is also rather underused and shows promise in her brief appearances, whilst the lead teacher is quite superb
and captivates the audience with each of his several thousand syllables.
The plot itself is fair, and the ending competent enough to shock a large portion of the audience, albeit we did find ourselves confused by the purpose of the regular interaction between Lucy and the student from a dream-like state. However, perhaps the worst decision is to house this play in the gargantuan ‘Pleasance One’, which was less than half full on 241 Tuesday, so goodness knows what it’s going to be like later on in the festival. Due to the intimate nature of the play, it would have been far better served in one of the smaller venues to a more intimate audience, but that is hardly the fault of the production team. Thankfully, in terms of what they had control over, they managed rather well.
A green light for this darkest of shows