|The Haunting Review
by Graeme Cumming
Retford Little Theatre's latest production gives the audience exactly what it says on the tin. The Haunting is a relatively recent play but, based on stories by Charles Dickens, its setting is far from contemporary.
A book dealer is called in to catalogue a private collection, but experiences strange goings-on... In tone and style, this has a traditional ghost story feel. With flashbacks to previous events and glimpses of the spirit haunting a manor house it is reminiscent of Woman in Black.
When the curtains open, the scene is immediately set in our minds: the cobwebs, dusty bookcases, empty fireplace and French windows opening on to a creepy landscape. It wasn't until he moved that I realised one of the characters was already on stage.
In many respects, the set was the star of the show. As well as creating the right impression, clever devices within it were used to allow ghostly appearances when and where you least expected them. Combined with imaginative light and sound effects, the mood was effectively created.
The play is largely a two-hander, and it's also very wordy, so hats off to Alex Nicol and Peter Thomas for remembering so many lines.
This was an ambitious production for a first-time director, so Donnamarie Stamp should also be commended for taking on the challenge.
Disappointingly, the auditorium was only half full on the first night. From experience, I know empty seats can flatten the atmosphere. The responses to humour and the more remarkable incidents (I'm being vague because I don't want to give the game away) were muted. I suspect this affected the performers as they were more subdued than you might expect. At the time of writing, I understand other nights are already well booked, so other performances should be an even more positive experience for all concerned.
In short, this was another strong production from RLT and well worth watching. Just one request: if anyone can explain how Mary manages her mysterious manifestation at the end of Act One, do let me know.
|Our Current Production
by Hugh Janes
(based on ghost stories
by Charles Dickens)
Friday 20th March to
Saturday 28th March 2015, 7:30pm
Click here for ticket details.
Play Readings for Fawlty Towers
Play readings for Fawlty Towers will take place in the theatre lounge on Monday 20th April and Thursday 23rd April at 7:30pm.
A large cast is needed for this extra
to the season, so come along and read for a part.
Founded in 1941, Retford Little Theatre is an amateur
drama group, housed in its own purpose-built theatre, generously provided by
Bassetlaw District Council.
Now in its 74th season, RLT continues to go from strength
to strength, attracting a membership of over 800 each
and playing to full houses at most performances.
The proscenium auditorium can readily be adapted to end-
or theatre-in-the-round formats, giving the
theatre enviable versatility.
Five plays are presented each season (from September
May) with extras in the form of platform productions,
visiting companies, social events and more.
New for the 74th Season: There will be a British Sign Language Interpreted performance on the 1st Saturday evening of each play. Interpreter Sarah Cox.
Retford Little Theatre can be contacted by telephone on
01777 702002 but should
your call go unanswered,
you can email us at
We look forward to welcoming you soon.