Thursday, 1 November 2012
Ghosts of Drumglass
On Monday I went to see Ghosts of Drumglass by Kabosh, a site specific theatrical experience in Drumglass Park, known to most as Cranmore Park. Given that I often walk through Cranmore Park on my way home and my kids play there, I was looking forward to seeing what scariness Kabosh would come up with.
So the story goes that the Musgrave family died with the passing of the last remaining child, Henry. From a family of 11, no descendants were produced to carry on the blood line. In the darkness of the park, the ghosts of the past threaten to fragment the peace of the present that eludes them. The ancient trees of Drumglass surrender the secrets of the Musgrave family to those who trace the steps of the dead.
When we first arrived we were split into two groups and led into the toilets, first the ladies then the gents. With hidden performers banging inside the cubicles, blood dripping from doors, incense and sinks filled with horrible things, we knew we were in for an interesting experience. We were led around the park by Jimmy Doran, playing Mr Musgrave and by some volunteer guides. The soundscape was excellent, particularly in the playground scenes. Children's voices and strange shrieking poured from the play area, while swings swung of their own accord, toy animals moved and roundabouts spun. I think this was the most effective part of the play and it was suitably spooky. The start of the play seemed to take a while to get going. I found it a little difficult to follow Musgrave's setting of the scene, possibly because it was quite long-winded. More likely it was because I was a bit nervous that a hand was going to grab me from the plughole of the sink I was standing against...
Ghosts of Drumglass was a really nice, accessible fun way way to spend a Monday night. Jimmy Doran and Michael Liebmann were great as the main characters and the supporting cast were suitably creepy. It's a show that doesn't take itself too seriously and the image of Jimmy having a conversation with a talking teddy bear will stay with me for a long time.
I don't know how they were doing 4 shows a night. It was absolutely freezing - if anyone has earned a stiff drink or five, it's this cast and crew.