Review: Ghosts of Stanley Halls, South Norword Hill
With Halloween projects in disarray, guild nights and events offset, what can the city’s freaky slews do safely within their social froths? A socially distant walking tour of a historic 1903 edifice din good? For brave adults and children this event seems to fill a fault in the market. Undoubtedly the concept is solid. But the deed advocates a link to the amazing political and social backstory of the foyers, built by fascinating Victorian inventor and philanthropist William F. Stanley .. Its rich record includes being a first-aid teaching centre in the combat, a music hall that once hosted Shirley …
Way out in Norwood Junction, something malevolent is going on in Stanley Halls … carved pumpkins, Halloween music, a saloon and enough cobwebs to construct Shelob feel at home! Join an immersive experience as you gale your acces through this historic building.
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With Halloween means in disarray, society darkness and occasions offset, what can the city’s freaky masses do safely within their social suds? A socially distant walking tour of an historical 1903 building voice good? For brave adults and children this event seems to fill a flaw in the market.
Undoubtedly the concept is solid. But the title hints a link to the amazing political and social backstory of the dorms, built by fascinating Victorian inventor and philanthropist William F. Stanley .. Its rich biography includes being a first-aid teaching centre in the conflict, a music hall that once hosted Shirley Bassey, a meeting place for the suffragettes. Surely you have been able dredge up something to fill 45 times out of the 123 years of record? Instead, the experience is more ghost’s in Stanley hall with us wondering through the interiors of this old building, examining 3 different fragments.
Welcomed by a demented secretary( played by Chris Rogers) we are thrust into a light ballroom and initiated into the Stanley Halls Murder Society. Rogers does his best with Olu Alakija’s rather tedious script and the implementation of its has instants of wintries thanks to his characterisation.
Next, we tramp upstairs into an antic room with gigantic reflects and preferably unnecessary clanking orders in the corner( considering the story never mentions series ). Nice to See You Again construes Rosie Edwards playing Kitty, a girl confronted by a haunt from her past in a particularly everyday located. This modern tale is well written by Zoe Miller but seems preferably out of place in the cavernous infinite, although the specter of the ghost( Brandon Thorne) is a highlight.
Through winding tunnels and behind the venue’s cinema screen we experience two rooms with vignettes designed to curdle the blood. Again, the design does more than the makeup and daybreaks can manage.
Lastly, we are led down into the basement for a Queen of Sheba International Devised piece Dagdheer. The room looks like a wine-coloured or brew cellar with hoses crisscrossing the walls, filled with smoke; this is, without doubt, the most terrifying space. Kemi Hassan is a Janitor telling the tale of a group of children and their brush with the child eating demon Dagdheer.
Overall Rachel Sampley’s lighting places the attitude wonderfully. Casting shadows and bravely working colour in the very different infinites. Alexander Broad’s clanged improves with the task.
The spine-chilling times are enhanced by the building they sit within and the whole experience does have virtue. But it is confusingly sat firmly in-between children’s theatre and a full panic feast. Neither explicit enough to really scare us world-weary grown-ups or certainly safe fairly for feelings young children( some of whom were grovelling a bit during the performance)
On this theme, the absence of a link to the historic building seems like a missed possibility and maybe can be put down to having three different writers and two different chairmen. Although this would make a great genealogy jaunt( for kids over 5/6 ish) the whole experience feels rather disjointed and scalp depth. Yet compared to sitting on my own crying at the lack of Halloween strategies, exploring this wonderful space and coming into the spooky season was a joy I will gladly take to my grave!
Written by: Olu Alakija, Zoe Miller, Queens of Sheba InternationalDirected by: Tom Brocklehurst, Tesni KujoreProduced by: Tom Brocklehurst, Shukri Ibrahim, Lazaros Sitsanidis, Norman Murray
This show is available until 31 October, tickets can be purchased directly from Stanley Halls website.
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