Writers: Robert Farquhar, Mike McShane, Mark Ravenhill, Alex Jones
Directors: Matt Peover, Hannah Eidinow,
Reviewer: Sonny Waheed
The Public Reviews Rating:
Terror 2012 is the 8th installment of the UK’s only annual ‘festival of horror theatre’. The production is a ‘horror cabaret’ hosted by Desmond O’Connor and Sarah-Louise Young who perform songs, tell tales and interact with the audience in an ever-so-slightly ghoulish manner before introducing the main acts.
The main focus of Terror 2012 are 4 short plays, each about 15 minutes long; No Place Like; Representation; The Experiment; and Fifty Shades Of Black. Each is a tale with an ever so slightly ghoulish twist. Across the board, the staging is simple – basic stage and curtain for background with the simplest of props. The stories are very intriguing and interestingly told and, above all, performed well.
However, the big problem is that they are simply not frightening. Each story builds up beautifully and creates a real sense of foreboding that heightens the expectation of terror, but the stories fail to deliver on that key aspect; frightening the audience. The stories are too short and just as you build up to ‘the action’ it ends. If the production had focused on 2 of the stories and given them more time, it could have been a more satisfying experience.
O’Connor and Young are highly entertaining as the cabaret hosts and have a sinister aura about them that creates suitably unnerves the audience ever so slightly.
Overall, if you focus on the horror and terror tags associated with this production, you’ll come away disappointed. However, as 4 short stories ‘with a twist’ they are interesting to watch, entertaining, ever so slightly unnerving, but ultimately rather unsatisfying.