Tuesday, May 28

Blind – London Horror Festival

What is evil? Can it infect a place and its people? And how would you react if you found yourself trapped in that place, in the dark, alone?

Blind is a 30-minute immersive experience from Ryots Productions, currently part of the London Horror Festival, that takes us on a ‘found footage’ type story (in this case purely audio rather than visual) of what happens to historian Alice Levine – in town to share the slightly gruesome history of the newly re-opened Butcher Library – when a sudden power cut plunges her into darkness.

When a young girl, that Alice presumes is the caretaker’s daughter, comes to keep her company, she shares a chilling ghost story of the library’s original inhabitants and a doll whose blindfold must never be removed.

It’s a classic ‘bumps in the night’ tale by Emily Gillmor Murphy and, whilst the darkness doesn’t obscure the obvious denouement, she has woven an enjoyably macabre story, loaded with all the core elements required to unnerve the listener along the way, thanks to the combination of binaural audio techniques and the listener’s own (hopefully) over-active imagination.

Our small cast of Martha Breen, Niamh McPhillips and Aonghus Óg McAnally also do very well within their respective roles, conveying heaps of fear and confusion at the arising situation.

It goes without saying that good headphones, a dark room (maybe even a blindfold) and a big ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door are essential to ‘enjoying’ the jumpier moments of the show.

The audio technique hasn’t quite been used to its full advantage though. The best examples can make your neck hair stand on end, convincing you that someone is breathing down your neck, and that isn’t achieved here.

But it certainly points the way to future opportunities to scare the pants off an audience and Blind is a strong addition to Ryots portfolio.

Blind is available on demand as part of the London Horror Festival. You can book tickets at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/blind-london-horror-festival-2021-tickets-173842576827

Reviewer: Lou Steggals

Reviewed: 20th October 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★