HP Lovecraft's The Statement of Randolph Carter
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall
On a darkened stage, a man stands behind a podium clutching his forehead and shakingly begins to speak about a night of eldritch horror and foul beings and horrors beyond the ken of the waking world.
From backstage, a constant series of eerie sounds, cackling laughs and gasped moans echo across the theatre.
H P Lovecraft's signature wordy and overflowingly verbose style suits performance rather well, as does the brilliant use of live foley to create a sense of being in the story in more than simple words. The evocations of rippling water, grating stone and creaking metal become almost immediately natural as the audience is swept into the tales.
Shedload theatre does credit to the source material and, although the piece is called The Statement of Randolph Carter, the second half of the performance is a rendition of The Temple, Lovecraft's story about a German submarine plagued by growing paranoia and madness after torpedoing a British warship.
If you are looking for something eerie and chilling to round off the Fringe, you couldn't do much better.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan