Poe's Last Night

David Crawford

Sweet Grassmarket

From 04 August 2016 to 28 August 2016

Rating: ***

Review by Graeme Strachan

Edgar Allan Poe crashes onto the stage in a hurried and harrassed frenzy. Beaten, chased and afraid, he pauses to take scope of who could be chasing him. This leads us into a whistlestop tour of his life and his work complete with full evocations of several of his works.

David Crawford cuts a surprisingly close figure to Poe, stumbling about the stage, weary and downtrodden, taking periodic, wincing pulls at bottle of whiskey. His Poe is eloquent and grim, crafting a lamentable figure, gloomy and depressed.

The fittingly dark and creepy pieces of The Raven and Alone reinforce the inner turmoil of Poe's dark mind, while The Cask of Amontillado points toward his anger at past recriminations against him.

The performance is morbid but enjoyable, albeit the pacing is a little off, and the stumbling logic of the narrative feels a little forced as he muses between potential foes who may have sent the assailants after him. But, regardless, the brooding sense of gothic horror manages to tickle the gooseflesh and Crawford shows that he has the chops to bring horror to the stage as well as the screen.