Darker Shores at Malvern Theatres Review

Darker Shores at Malvern Theatres Review

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Posted 2022-11-23 by Alison in Birmingham follow

Mon 21 Nov 2022 - Sat 26 Nov 2022

Something's going bump in the night at Malvern Theatres this week. Eerie shadows in the window, dark shapes emerging from paintings and a seance with a difference.



It's all part of the ghostly Victorian tale of Darker Shores that stops off at the Worcestershire venue during its UK tour from Monday November 21 to Saturday November 26.

In a similar vein to The Woman in Black recent touring production, it's a small cast taking us through the narrative. This doesn't have as much frantic action as that but it does have some high calibre names on stage.

Juliet Mills of the renowned Mills acting family and her real-life husband, Dynasty star Maxwell Caulfield, command attention and reflect decades in the acting game with natural charisma on stage.

Michael Praed, once known as Robin of Sherwood, should have been there too but was disappointingly absent on first night (but due back for the rest of the week).

Instead his slightly nervy-looking understudy Will Beynon took over as Tom Beauregard, a psychic from America's Deep South who seems like he's hiding too many secrets under that hospitable southern drawl.



His latest client is Caulfield's Professor Stokes. A pious yet plucky ageing widower whose been shaken by a supernatural experience at strange Sea House. He wants to return with Beauregard to get to the bottom of it all.

It's Christmas 1875 and Sea House's straight-talking owner Mrs Hinchcliffe, played by Mills with a delightful northern accent, is acting suspiciously between creepy moments of low level special effects.

Adding to the mystery is maid Florence Kennedy, who seems able to connect with the spiritual world. Chipo Kureya as Florence holds her own amongst an experienced cast and her energy brightens up the show, which does stutter in its pace from time to time.

This Theatre Royal Windsor and Birdsong production is blessed however with a luxurious set and glorious lighting to create a suitably tense atmosphere.



The play comes into its own during the final 20 minutes or so when the tempo lifts and it proves far more unpredictable than many routine thrillers. Although the final scene is confusing and I'm still wondering what it was supposed to mean.

That said, Darker Shores is a likeable gentle mystery with some clever unexpected twists and fine acting.
Rating: & #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9734 ;& #9734 ;

#Bromsgrove
#theatre
#theatre -reviews
#theatres
#west_midlands
#november
!date 21/11/2022 -- 26/11/2022
%wnbirmingham
70815 - 2023-01-26 01:49:35

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