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Enfield Poltergeist | Upstairs at the Gatehouse

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"Based on the true events of this infamous case, this is a journey of redemption, and the chance to lay old ghosts to rest."

In an attempt to bring the iconic story to the stage, two actors spoke to the audience for 45 minutes, taking turns to monologue at us. This version of the story took me on a brief tour through the story of Janet (Morris' daughter), who died for no apparent reason and then Morris went to see another Janet, who was being haunted by a dead man for no apparent reason.


While I think that merging plot lines and having dead characters as "invisible" actors on stage can be effective, I feel this show wasn't able to create enough of an atmosphere to pull it off. It wasn't actually until the audience were explicitly asked "did you hear that?" after she spoke, that I realised that she was the ghost. I was hoping to go and see a fearsome show that brought the dramatic events of the original story to life on stage and left the theatre underwhelmed.


If you are a fan of Netflix true crime documentaries, of which I am, this play felt like it was just made up of the interview snippets. The characters spoke directly to the audience and told us their story in character with very minimal interactions with each other or reenactments of the story.


An interesting theatrical device that they tried to use was by having Janet lip sync to a recording of the poltergeists voice. I believe that it was actual clips from the recently successful film as opposed to the actual clips, though I couldn't be sure. I was excited as this begun and I hoped it would breathe some much needed energy to the stage. However the mouthing was mostly hidden by hair or hands that kept covering her face while mouthing along to the recording. There was also not a lot of physical movement during these lip syncs which meant they felt more like an audio track as opposed to the voice coming from her.


While I would often recommend seeing fringe theatre, as it fuels the early stages of developments, I think that this particular show could do with a little more reconsiderations and developments before it continues its journey.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review

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