Suspense, fright and a not a little bit of humour are all on the menu as the Playhouse gets Derry’s annual Halloween fun underway on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 October.
Ken McCormack’s new play The Haunting is just the thing as the spooky nights set in. The action is set deep in the countryside and concerns a dark, broody mansion and the scary sightings of a young woman dressed in black.
“It’s not your usual ghost story,” says Ken. “Suspense builds up in this tale keeping the audience on the edges of their seats. There is a ghost but just where is it and more to the point who is it?”
Writer and broadcaster Mary Murphy, who usually treads the boards with superb acting skills, will direct the Playhouse actors in The Haunting.
“It’s a ghost story that always makes you uneasy about what’s going to happen next,” adds Mary. “I know the audiences will love it.”
The Haunting is full of suspense from the word go. An oddball psychic visiting Derry tells her audience she is troubled by images of a big dark country house called Dunowen. The tale unfolds to reveal that a mysterious uncle has willed the house to his nephew under strange circumstances. The Haunting then brings us in and out of the past with appearances of suspicious characters, any of which could be the ghost. The closing scenes, it’s promised, will leave the audience breathless.
After the success of previous Playhouse ghost stories, Director Pauline Ross wanted a longer play full of suspense for this years’ offering.
“We’ve got that,” says Pauline. “Ken has gone for keeping people guessing about what‘s going to happen next. It’s not unlike the successful play Woman in Black that has been running in London for 20 years.”
A feature of The Haunting is the unusual music and effects contrived by radio producer and musician Colum Arbuckle.
“I believe these are among the best we’ve ever seen at the Playhouse,” adds Pauline Ross.
The cast comprises some of Derry’s best actors, featuring Seamus Ball, Sean McMahon, Mairead Mullan, Shaun Coyle, Carita Kerr, Jim Craig, Eamon Craig, Margaret O’Donnell, Bill Waters, Glen Tilley and Maire Dunn.
The Haunting will be performed at the Playhouse on Monday and Tuesday,29/30 October at 8:00pm, and at The Beech Hill Hotel, Ardmore, on Sunday 4 November at 5:00pm.