Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

I was attracted to this show mostly because I liked the look of the poster, and also because we had a spare slot to fill on the final day of the Fringe. I’m glad we took the opportunity, because it’s really rather good.

The third show we’ve seen this year that uses the device of the portmanteau, it relates the story of former author, turned creative writing tutor, Alex Crowley (Andrew Paul), who, after an interval of twenty one years, is finally readying himself to release a sequel to his debut collection, Darktales. Crowley has invited a former student, Jack Langton (Sean Ward), to interview him about the upcoming release for the online blog he produces. But their conversation is interrupted from time to time by the interjections of Lucy (Carrie Marx), another former pupil – is she real or merely a figment of Jack’s imagination?

The show is beautifully put together, with chilling sound and lighting effects and Tim Arthur’s labyrinthine storyline will keep you guessing right up to the very end. Andrew Paul is particularly good as the repellent Max and, though the story falters a little with the appearance of Jack, it soon recovers and builds towards a delightfully satisfying ‘twist in the tail’ conclusion .

It’s too late now, of course, to trumpet its presence on the Fringe, but should it turn up at a venue near you, take the opportunity to see it. It’s an effective and inventive chiller.

4.2 stars

Philip Caveney

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