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Review: High praise for the Darcaelan Casebook

Date posted: 20-04-2017

THE younger members of the Harlow Theatre Company took on a dark and ambitious piece called The Darcelan Casebook.

The story-line is conventional. Troubled cop returns to his ancestral home where dark deeds seemed to have occurred and be occurring. It is a long dark night of the soul. In less capable hands it could have ended up as a terrible gothic indulgence played out by emo students that don’t get on with their parents but instead this is a vivid, professionally produced performance that really did impress.

The plot: 1910: Detective Edward Darcaelan returns to his ancestral home to investigate a break-in. Accompanied by Sergeant Joe Sydney and Dr Emily Shaw, a blizzard seals them in a solitary house full of the ghosts and echoes of a disturbing family history. A murder follows and a past Darcaelan has tried to cover up reveals begins to reveal itself…

There are some wonderful character-acting in this play. Benjamin Charlton plays a dark, intense and sneering Inspector Cole who evoked menace in every word and deed. The eponymous Edward Darcaelan is played by Jake Hannam who does an excellent job in the key pivotal role. There is a wonderful muted mania in the role of Joe Sydney played by Drayk Li Water. This young man has a real presence on the stage and may well be one to watch for the future.

Rest assured all the other actors, you were all very good and held contribute to a very fine first night.

This was a real ensemble piece and it is a credit to the director, Paul Johnson that he was able to direct and choreograph so expertly. The investigation scenes a very well lit and scenes in which nearly all thirteen actors are on the stage manage to be perfectly pitched.

The whole piece had great atmosphere. This was greatly assisted by the lighting and especially the music but again, it was all about how they were directed and deployed.

Well done to Harlow Theatre Company for giving a play such as this a go. Young actors need to stretch themselves but also have a sense of ownership in what they designed and perform.

We appreciate how much work the three young writers (Jake Hannam, Elliott Johnson and James Mortimer) put into this and hope this spurs them on to do much more as they clearly have a talent.

For details of tickets go to:

https://www.harlowtheatrecompany.org.uk

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