Tag Archives: Ruby Sevink-Johnston

Nightmares in Progress – 3.5 Stars


Nightmares in Progress

Old Red Lion Theatre

Reviewed – 29th January 2018


“I love cornflakes and carpet and it certainly matched the narrative”


Arriving at The Old Red Lion I knew little of the two stories on the bill other than a brief description of each central character; an isolated writer and an insomniac.

The stage was littered with papers, a “full” sleeping bag, a radio and cups of wine. Bulbs hung from the rig and two men stood upstage wearing skull masks, one with his trousers round his ankles. A fun image, one that initially led me to think I was in for a night of sketch comedy.

The first of the tales, “Every Breath You Take”, is predominantly a one woman show, a tough ask for any actor, particularly with the range that horror demands you display. Ruby Sevink-Johnston seemed to grow more comfortable with her character Sam, as her discomfort grew, so I’ll be interested to see those establishing movements of the piece really Hammer-horrored home with further direction and development.

The second offering to the cult (sorry, audience) was “The Sandman”. Overall my preferred of the two, if simply because the premise was one I haven’t experienced before. As the two actors (Cuthbert and Emma Whitworth) enrich the well-crafted story with brilliant vocal imagery, artefacts are passed round the audience in the dark. I love cornflakes and carpet and it certainly matched the narrative, but I wanted more touchy things. It was a sensory experience to an extent, but moving forward I hope they can increase the tangible aids, and saliently get them to every audience member as close to the verbal reference as possible.

What would help in both plays, is for a clear decision on what genres the shows wish to be or straddle. As a fan of comedy and horror comedy, I think the comedy element could be explored further as there are some gems in there already.

Would I be interested in seeing this work progressed – yes. If the intent is a “jump scare”, there is work to be done. Overall, I thought the structure of the night was strong. Having hosts was an excellent feature, and I am keen to see more from Danse Macabre as they find their niche.

An early outing with some strong elements, and a team willing to work hard to develop, so keep your eyes open … unless they tell you to keep them closed.


Reviewed by Joe Cullen


Nightmares in Progress

Old Red Lion Theatre



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