BrumHour was invited to The House on Cold Hill by The Alexandra.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
The House on Cold Hill at the Alexandra
Adapted from Peter James‘ novel by Shaun McKenna, Directed by Ian Talbot
Peter James’ supernatural thriller The House on Cold Hill is at The Alexandra until Saturday 11th May with Joe McFadden as Ollie, Rita Simons as his wife Caro, Persephone Swales-Dawson as their daughter Jade and Charlie Clements as Chris who comes to work for Ollie’s web design business.
Having left Brighton for a small village, Ollie And Caro have purchased an old house which harbours more secrets than they’ve researched including a supposed haunting that the villagers including spiritualist Annie (Tricia Deighton) and local vicar Fortinbras (Padraig Lynch) have been nosing around.
This is a modern tech inspired spooky thriller effectively using visual, audio and physical special effects, is this old house full of dodgy piping or faulty electric or is something else going on? There are plenty of twists and turns during this two hour story to keep the audience guessing.
The static set is a former courtyard of a big old house that has been roofed and turned into a double level living area with office, everything is set off centre with furniture closer to the audience at one side than the other, even the twisty stairs suggest something isn’t quite right and the old courtyard windows looking into the lounge.
These characters feel very real leaving their rat race for the “countryside”, even teenage Jade who uses a lot of buzz phrasing to mask her true emotions. Rita Simons and Joe McFadden’s characters seem to hide even more than is revealed by the production, while we are given surface reasons for their motive I was left thinking there was much more to be explored with them.
The Alexandra plays host to thrillers once or twice per season and its great to see the difference in audience. The jumps and scares are not enough to shock but they do startle and the tone means you are looking around the set for secrets all the time. It really is a tale of the unexpected.
The House on Cold Hill is at The Alexandra until 11th May. Book tickets here:atgtickets.com/shows/the-house-on-cold-hill/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre, Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.