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Reviews: Ghosts will lift your spirits!

Lifestyle / Fri 18th Nov 2016 at 01:00pm

Good night of theatre for Harlow Theatre Company

By William Tennison

GHOSTS is a popular piece written by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Like much of Ibsen’s work Ghosts is a scathing review of society at the time looking at subject matter like religion, venerable disease, incest and euthanasia. This content lead to the play being seen as outrageous to many when it was written. Ghosts is a more traditional piece, following on from Harlow Theatre Company’s production of Bad Girls, which will be at Victoria Hall until Saturday.

On first impressions, the set looked very good, it fitted in with the plays naturalistic style and the era it was designed for. However the use of the staging was less then skilled, with the central table often acting as a roundabout for the actors to wander around rather then use the space as they would their home. The use of props also felt forced especially the armchair on one side of the room which we are later shown offer great importance to the relationships between characters. If the armchair was used sparingly through the performance its impact in the closing scenes would have been enhanced.

The cast were largely good, particularly Mitch Rous who played Oswald. His character throughout was interesting with many twists and turns occurring as his story unfolds, he played the role with real understanding so you never got the feeling that you really knew who Oswald was. Kevin Smith as the pastor also put in a strong performance however he could of used different levels of volume within his dialect to help create a more varied character. Jane Miles who played Oswalds mother seemed to let everything go early on. She jumped straight into hysterics and left herself nowhere to go as the piece developed, this unfortunately lead to a lack of building tension, a role which she needed to do for this play to be a successful as it could be.

Overall the production was enjoyable and you could see that it had a lot of potential however I felt it failed in its pursuit of trying to be a truly naturalistic piece. If you want to see this solid piece of theatre, which at times was comedic, I recommend giving it a watch.

Tickets can be bought from the Victoria Hall website or by clicking on the link below: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/harlowtheatrecompany

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