Thursday, 18 October 2018

Review: Things that go bump before midnight

YOU are guaranteed to be sitting on the edge of your seat during this latest production at the Mill at

YOU are guaranteed to be sitting on the edge of your seat during this latest production at the Mill at Sonning.

Directed by Sue Wilson, I’ll Be Back Before Midnight is a thriller with a dark and devious plot that will keep you gripped at every unexpected twist and turn, but it is also peppered with black comedy that ensures a thoroughly entertaining evening.

Jan Sanderson (superbly played by Grace Carter) is of a nervous disposition, and on her release from hospital after a prolonged stay she is taken by her husband Greg (Jack Bannell) to a remote farmhouse deep in the Norfolk countryside to recuperate and rebuild her relationship with Greg.

Jan is used to city life and is uneasy from the start, especially when she hears that her sister-in-law Laura (Alex Gilbert) is joining them, as the two dislike each other intensely.

Greg assures her that the idea of the visit is for the two to become reconciled, but Jan is not so sure. Her precarious situation is compounded by the fact that the owner of the house, their near neighbour farmer George Willowby (characterised beautifully by Brian Hewlett) keeps calling in with dark references to the fact that the house is haunted.

He disturbs Jan with details of the haunting, so when these begin to mysteriously manifest themselves, it is no wonder that she is driven to near panic. She asks herself whether her former nervous instability is returning.

But as an audience we found ourselves having faith in Jan, and as the subtleties of the plot unwound we gradually came to realise that no one was quite what they seemed, and a dark and mysterious truth was waiting to be revealed.

Fight director Jonathan Howell did a fine job in ensuring that the evening of suspense and tension exploded in a fitting climax and we were left reeling at the intricacies of a plot in which good had had such a struggle to overcome the evil lurking underneath.

I’ll Be Back Before Midnight runs until November 23. For tickets call the Box Office on 0118 969 8000.

I’ll Be Back Before Midnight

Mill at Sonning Theatre

Friday, October 11

Mary Scriven

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