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The Evening Standard
Cell G159
Edinburgh Festival
23 August 2000
 

The stark shadows and cold vaults of the Gilded Balloon’s cave make the perfect venue for this creepy satire on Fifties mystery thrillers, with their overtones of Orwellian power struggles.

Godfrey Hutton has escaped from Manor Hall, home for the criminally insane, and two policeman arrive to investigate. The scene is quickly set for a chilling tour of “the grounds”, brilliantly conjured up through dialogue. Even without the subtle humour and allusion, this play would entertain as a thought provoking exploration of madness. The Inspector’s salient observations and the classic plot twist underline the grim possibilities behind the cheap gags and painful puns.

Andy Johnson and Ezra Hjalmarsson direct this latest offering from playwright Paul Sellar. The cast are magnificent, acting with just a touch of cool irony.

The script is eloquent and poetic, guiding us through dark forests, dangerous marshes and the lonely corridors of the asylum. This comic psychological whodunit is a must for lovers of the macabre.

Jonathan Preminger