Arts Review

Through The Dark Door presented by Theatre Redland

Through The Dark Door presented by Theatre Redlands

Redland Museum

21st-30th October 2022

Written and Directed by Jan Nary


An intense and intimate opportunity to mingle with the monsters of the macabre for Halloween


Dr Gemma Regan


It is a rare opportunity to experience a spooky museum crammed with thousands of sinister historical artefacts at night. In every corner lurks the shadow of a mannequin or a strange implement. It is musty, dark and eerily silent. There is often a creepy feeling of being watched. Is that really a dummy driving the horse and coach? The memories of history are locked into each and every exhibit resonating with the emotions of those who have come before, the perfect setting for a celebration of Halloween if you dare enter Through the Dark Door


In the small museum foyer in the enveloping darkness you will meet with your deepest fears, Death awaits!


The ultimate psychopomp Death, played expertly by writer and director Jan Nary and his monstrous lurking familiar Zara, the plague doctor (Martin Rayner) will greet and guide you through a panorama of horrors that lie within the Redland Museum in Cleveland. 


A series of vignettes at the printer shop, outside a telephone box and in the dreaded dentist’s chair cast spooky shadows whilst the actors weave terrifying tales. You can relive the horror of your schooldays when the terrifying Nun played brilliantly by Ann-Marie Andersen disciplines you with a switch to settle you at your desk for the tale of the Nucklavee sea monster from Orkney. Or perhaps if you don’t have your wits about you the furious cleaver brandishing Grannie Spleenship (Jean Spencer) may catch you to harvest your organs as part of her wares.


Imagine the trauma and insecurity of being Death’s apprentice! Get on the couch with Brent Schon who is fabulous as the insecure morbid trainee fearing no career succession path. Could or would Death ever die or retire? Can his shrink, played by Jim Gilbert, help his tortured soul? Perhaps the decapitated ghosts could help him get ahead!


Through the Dark Door is the second of the ghastly immersive Halloween presentations by the Gold Palm award-winning Theatre Redlands, after their ingenious 2020 production of When the Darkness Moves. Both the brainchild of the macabrely imaginative Jan Nary. 


The Redland Museum is celebrating its Golden Jubilee in 2022 aged 50 years young. Being guided in small intimate groups through the darkness is a great opportunity to be a part of the celebrations and experience the displays being brought to life. You will be thrilled by a brush with Death in an entertaining evening of horror amongst ghosts, vampires, monsters and werewolves. 


There are two shows at 6 pm and 8pm when the dark door creaks open to admit those brave enough to mingle with the monsters of the macabre replete with refreshments available to fortify the body and soul. Make sure you don’t miss this intense intimate Halloween event!


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