The Haunting of Blaine Manor
The Old Red Lion Theatre
Reviewed – 4th November 2017
“The twists and turns of this piece completely took me by surprise and I adored it”
The Haunting of Blaine Manor was the last show I went to see as part of the London Horror Festival, the showcase for horror and spooky plays that has been running for the last three weeks at the Old Red Lion Theatre. A festival I thoroughly enjoyed and can’t wait to see again next year. This piece, alongside the festival, has given me a taste for scarier theatre and I look forward to watching more plays like it soon.
The script was brilliant, the storyline, the characters and the style in which it was written really engrossed me from beginning to end. This two hour beauty whizzed past before my eyes. I was so connected to the action on stage and the characters’ stories. I really commend Joe O’Byrne as the writer and director of this piece. The twists and turns completely took me by surprise and I adored it. I was incredibly excited by it all.
Throughout this festival I have seen how different productions dress and utilise the theatre space and I have to say the set design for the Haunting of Blaine Manor was by far the most detailed. It really allowed for the audience to immerse into the production. Of course, the cast too must be commended on putting on a fantastic performance, together working really well. There were points that lacked a bit of energy but these were few and far between and didn’t hinder the production.
Andrew Yates as the psychic Cairo was fantastic. He truly committed to the character adding little nuanced moments throughout. His German accent was spot on and added a different and mystic feel. He was one of my favourites in the play. Likewise, I also enjoyed Peter Slater’s performance as the protagonist Roy, an American paranormal debunker, an interesting character who takes you on a journey. However, there were key moments that I feel Slater didn’t give the nuanced performance it required to really hone in the right effect on the audience. Nevertheless, I still really enjoyed watching him on stage.
The whole cast really bounced off each other. I loved Jo Haydock’s performance of Vivian, particularly her interaction with Peter Slater. Her character was really interestingly written as to what she represents within the play as a whole. There were moments that I wanted a bit more nuance and thought, but I still bought into her character thoroughout.
Undoubtedly Phil Dennison as Scarabus was a joy to watch on stage, adding to the brilliance of the show. I really enjoyed his character and Phil had some phenomenal moments. On a similar note, Daniel Thackeray gave a very interesting performance as Vincent. At first there was something about it that jarred with me, but then I started to really get into his performance. In all honesty, each and every character on that stage was unique and intriguing in their own right.
The Haunting of Blaine Manor is a roller coaster ride of a show that many would enjoy watching – I cannot recommend it enough.
Reviewed by Daniel Correia
Photography Shay Rowan
THE HAUNTING OF BLAINE MANOR
was part of the London Horror Festival
at The Old Red Lion Theatre