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Review: Wait Until Dark, Original Theatre Company, New Wolsey. Ipswich, until Nov 11

PUBLISHED: 10:46 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:46 08 November 2017

Tim Treloar and Graeme Brookes in the thriller Wait Until Dark. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Tim Treloar and Graeme Brookes in the thriller Wait Until Dark. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Manuel Harlan

Reece Witherspoon once said that the most hated line for any actress in a film is when she turns to the man and asks: “Well, what do we do now?”. For in real life she says, when have you ever heard a woman actually say that? In Wait Until Dark, the stage version of the brilliant 1967 Audrey Hepburn film, Susy our heroine, who is also blind, not only knows what to do “now” she also takes on three con artists in this high stakes thriller presented by The Original Theatre Company.

Jack Ellis and Karina Jones in the thriller Wait Until Dark. Photo: Manuel HarlanJack Ellis and Karina Jones in the thriller Wait Until Dark. Photo: Manuel Harlan

The production gives us a strong flavour of the 60s with attention to detail that doesn’t slavishly distract, preventing it from turning it into a vintage period piece. The tension is ramped up in the small living room set with a subtle and highly effective sound design that taps powerfully into universal fears around trust and vulnerability that is gripping.

Karina Jones, who is blind, develops the characterisation of Susy as an everywoman. Resourceful, observant, flawed and brave, she does what she has to do. Assisted by the equally capable and feisty 12 year Gloria (Shannon Recroft), the pair yearn and wait for the return of husband Jack to burst in and save the day but clearly are able to do pretty good job by themselves!

The three con men give us real menace and dark humour. Jack Ellis is hugely convincing in his dual role. His moments of pathos contrast spectacularly with the terrifyingly brilliant performance from Tim Treloar whose characterisation feels it would right at home in Nick Roeg’s 1960s cult gangster film Performance. The violence and terror doesn’t pull any punches and it is a real testament to the acting and directing in this show that pace of the second half had the audience around me genuinely gasping.

Highly recommended

Jackie Montague

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