Tin Robot Theatre breathes new life into Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Tell-Tale Heart in another bold production at the Old Joint Stock.
Like the company’s production of Dorian Gray this is brave and original theatre which takes Poe’s odd and gruesome tale and relocates it in a sterile, futuristic Orwellian world.
In what has become an enduring story, despite being just a few pages in length when it was published in 1843, an unnamed narrator tries in vain to convince the reader that all is well when in fact he is torn by the guilt of having murdered a man.
This production puts a fresh and interesting twist on the tale. All of the action takes place in the minimalistic surroundings of the narrator’s apartment and follows his inquisition by a series of visitors who are seemingly the gatekeepers of a futuristic world. They have ‘lost the signal’ emanating from the man and want answers.
Meanwhile the narrator gives us sporadic glimpses into what happened while the man’s ‘vulture-eye’ is quite literally haunting him in the form of a piece of moving art.
Touwa Craig-Dunn turns in a strong performance as the tortured narrator. He has a naturalistic style of acting which works so well with this production. His descent into madness as his inquisition progresses is utterly believable.
Jack Robertson impresses too as one of his emotionless interrogators, supported well by Joel Heritage and Vita Fox.
Meanwhile a simplistic but stark set, the use of regular blackouts and clever sound effects, cleverly generated by director Adam Carver himself on a microphone, put the audience on edge and help to move the story along well. There’s a palpable tension in the build up to a rather gruesome end.
It’s a little indulgent in places and though there is a clear intention to build the atmosphere, the start is still rather slow for a piece of this length.
Nonetheless this is another unique, bold and utterly original production from Tin Robot Theatre which is rapidly making a name for itself as one of the most inventive company's in the area.
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