Wednesday, July 6

The Black Cat – Threedumb Theatre @ the Space

Edgar Allen Poe’s macabre short story written in 1843 is one of the finest examples of gothic horror ever written. The story explores the psychology of guilt and the consequences of a grim and unspeakable crime. It is also a story about revenge and retribution but to go any further in its description would spoil all the fun.

Suffice to say, after The Tell Tale Heart this is probably one of Poe’s most accessible and memorable stories and Threedumb Theatre using their now familiar live-stream one take promenade approach gives us a richly dark and quite chilling rendition of this strange story.

Stephen Smith (who also directs this piece) plays the haunted yet totally unsympathetic narrator whist Michaela Bennison plays the narrators wife. Both actors exude great energy throughout but it’s Smith who demands your attention with his precise and elegant performance as the tortured man who must face his rightful punishment.

The company quite cleverly utilises the eerie and rather special atmosphere of the venue which was once a Presbyterian church until it was transformed into one of London’s most influential performance hubs.

The excellent lighting design by Eddie Stephens and the evocative soundscape by Joseph Furey really add to the general creepiness of the show and the use of some back projection is vivid and highlights points in Poe’s story.

It was a shame that the ending felt a little rushed and a tad untidy but this is a minor quibble in an otherwise intriguing and powerful production from Threedumb Theatre.

Streamed live 23rd – 26th March 2021 at The Space, London – www.space.org.uk

Reviewer: Kiefer Williams

Reviewed: 23rd March 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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