Female Gothic

Dyad Productions

Assembly George Square

From 01 August 2012 to 27 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Graeme Strachan

Taking its basis from the oft forgotten stories penned by female writers in the Victorian Gothic tradition, Rebecca Vaughan's solo performance seeks to set the audiences in a state of creeping terror with tales of the macabre.

Vaughan's adaptation of these tales is shaped into a trio of stories which play out sequentially in the form of parlour entertainment. The meandering and era-evoking nature of the pacing means that a genuine sense of time and place is always clear, while under Guy Masterson's fine direction Vaughan never strays into the melodramatic or overacting.

The tales themselves are craftily told, leading from the slightly whimsical, to the cautionary before finally hitting home with a genuinely unsettling story of a haunted house.

At 75 minutes long, the piece does stay slightly longer than welcome, mainly due to the slightly dragging first tale. However the overall effect is wonderfully eerie to experience and manages to capture that most intangible of theatre goals, the real fear of the audience.