Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Haunting Assembly Hall Theatre Royal Tunbridge Wells

The Haunting
Assembly Hall Theatre
Royal Tunbridge Wells

4-9 April 2011
Performance seen 7 April


Lord Gray : Paul Nicholas
David Filde : Charlie Clements
Mary : Emily Altneu

Understudies: Matthew Medhurst & Sophie Wilkins

As you may know I have already seen this show in Eastbourne. I do not intend doing a full review in this case so please refer to the original by clicking here

We enjoyed this so much the first time round that we thought it warranted a revisit to see how Charlie Clements fares in the role of David Filde. It would also be a good opportunity to see if he was willing to join Paul Nicholas and Sean Maguire (David Filde in previous production) in signing a 'Starcard' for Great Ormond Street.

As you can see from the picture achieving the latter was no problem with Charlie more than happy to oblige in the charity signing. So what about the show?

Charlie Clements supporting GOSH with his lucky 7's
Well there is no doubt Charlie's willingness to really get into the soul of his Dickensian character by growing that marvellous moustache and magnificent sideburns was a fantastic idea.

It just added polish to his excellent portrayal of Filde's character. I found the former Eastenders star approached the role with a far more 'serious yet concerned' approach compared to Maguire's 'scared stiff' stance.

Who came out best? Neither. Both artists impressed equally in the spooky tale and Emily Altneu is great as the spook having taken over from Hannah Steele.

Having seen the production before I was determined not to jump - but failed - twice!

The Haunting is a Bill Kenwright production and everybody involved in this should be proud of a mighty fine play.

For me this is everything a staged ghost story should be. A fabulous set, a story that is interesting yet easy to follow, dialogue that does not become tedious, lots of surprises and things to make you jump ,a few laughs and above all well acted. To warrant going twice to see the same play it has to be something a little special, something which The Haunting is.

What did the Tunbridge Wells audience think? Well if anything the reception was longer , far louder and more enthusiastic than was achieved on that 1st night in Eastbourne.

Tunbridge Wells audiences don't give reactions like this to every show, believe me. In fact we have never heard screams of appreciation and demands for 'more' at any play to compare with the reaction achieved here.

Although I'm none too sure how one would do an encore with a horror play!

I do wonder one thing though. If there is a further tour of The Haunting if the ex-Eastenders casting continues for David Filde who's next for the role?

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