The Haunting of Hill House

November 2004


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The Haunting of Hill House - adapted by F Andrew Leslie
Performed - November 3rd to November 6th 2004

Synopsis
Eleanor Vance has always been a loner - shy, vulnerable, and bitterly resentful of the 11 years she lost while nursing her dying mother. Then she receives an unusual invitation from Dr. John Montague, an investigator of supernatural phenomena. 

He has been granted a short lease of Hill House, a foreboding Gothic structure cut off from the outside world by its remote location and shunned by all who know its sinister reputation - a place "without kindness, never meant to be lived in....". 

His mission is to delve into the morbid history of the house and to come to grips with the occult forces that have made it uninhabitable for many years. A paranormal incident from Eleanor's childhood qualifies her to be a part of Montague's bizarre study - along with headstrong Theodora, his assistant, and Luke Sanderson, a well-to-do but skeptical aristocrat.

Their visit begins with jovial informality, but their sensibilities are soon jolted by strange and eerie occurrences. As they struggle to disguise their mounting fears they are joined by Dr. Montague's wife and a friend, who have come to Hill House for purposes of their own. 

A tale of subtle, psychological terror, the visitors at Hill House - some there for knowledge, others for adventure - are unaware that the old mansion will soon choose one of them to make its own....

Review

Playgoers thrill with seasonal spine-chiller

An atmospheric tale of the supernatural sent audiences home from Blackfriars in a nervous frame of mind last week, with memories of ghostly voices and spine-chilling laughter threatening to disturb their sleep. 

Boston Playgoers' seasonal production was The Haunting of Hill House, in which a group of people interested in psychic phenomena gather in the forbidding house to try to understand the strange goings-on there.

The seven-strong cast made a good job of it, although at times were a little upstaged by the over-loud spooky sound effects.

John Jackson gave a strong performance as team leader Dr Montague, and Melissa Marlowe and Carol Kane complemented each other as the laid-back Theodora and the hysterical Eleanor, who was finally tipped over the edge by the spooky house.

Glyn Ruskin was perfect as the overbearing doctor's wife, and there was a lovely cameo from Gail McNeale as the grim housekeeper.

They were ably backed by Chris Tinsley as the house's owner and John Lingard as headmaster Arthur.

The play was directed and produced by Sam Zwemmer and John Jackson.

Cast
Actors names on right:

Eleanor Vance - Carol Kane 
Mrs Dudley - Gail McNeale 
Dr John Montague - John Jackson 
Theodora - Melissa Marlowe 
Luke Sanderson - Chris Tinsley 
Mrs Montague - Glyn Ruskin 
Arthur Parker - John Lingard

Production Team

Director - Sam Zwemmer
Producer - John Jackson & Sam Zwemmer
Stage Manager - Ros Blowers
Set Design & Decoration - Sam Zwemmer, John Jackson, Ros Blowers, Stuart Farrar and Phil Landshoft 
Set Production - Paul Gibson, Dave Nichols
Stage Crew - Wayne Waite, Judy Mugleston, Gail McNeale
Costume - Glyn Ruskin, Salvation Army, and Playgoers
Furniture & Properties - Kirton Antiques, Sam Zwemmer, Liz Worsley
Lighting - Paul Gibson
Special Sound Effects - Paul Gibson, Graham Royce, John Jackson 
Posters & Programmes - Sam Zwemmer, John Jackson, Stuart Farrar 
Photography - Mark Taylor
Make Up - Molly Barrett
Prompt - Shantelle Gaston-Hird