I'll Be Back Before Midnight
Reviewed by the Doorsteppa Magazine
After their last production of Tim Firth’s ensemble comedy ‘The Safari Party,’ the City Players took a turn towards the macabre, presenting the spine-tingling Peter Colley thriller, ‘I’ll Be Back Before Midnight.’
The Hitchcockian style suspense centres around Jan and husband Greg who retreat to an old country farmhouse in search of calm after Jan’s recent nervous breakdown. The landlord, a neighbouring farmer, delights in telling gruesome ghost stories fuelling Jan’s nervousness. When Greg’s sister Laura visits it’s not long before eerie sounds and visions begin tormenting Jan. Is she suffering another breakdown or is someone trying to drive her mad?
All the tools of a solid thriller are there - the emotionally delicate wife, the husband who’s intentions are unclear, the sister hell bent on destroying her brothers marriage, and a seemingly kindly neighbour who shows up at suspiciously appropriate moments. The play shifts so quickly, that there are times when you don’t know whether to laugh, or be afraid. However, as the performance gathers momentum it is clear it’s the latter!
This production is greatly helped by the incredible set design, but more impressive were the sound and lighting team. There are constant blackouts, strange clanking and screeching noises, eerie voices and plenty of nightmares. The stage is literally filled with horror, all timed to perfection, making it a deliciously uncomfortable experience.
Although the characters are recognizable from works such as those of Agatha Christie, the cast works seamlessly together to keep the audience guessing. For an amateur team they constantly elevate themselves to help provide the necessary ingredients to keep the tension and twists coming.
I’ll Be Back Before Midnight has it’s moments of humour to break the tension but the plays strength lies in it’s ability to hold onto the audience throughout the twists and keep you guessing right until the end.
The City Players have announced that they’ve pencilled in a new production for February 2016, and I am already looking forward to what they can produce next.
If you are interested in any aspect of theatre I would strongly recommend going along to see what they are all about. Their friendly team are always happy to welcome new faces.
"I'll Be Back Before Midnight". The Doorsteppa, October 2015. Print.