Dark North and Hungry Jane: Two Plays of Supernatural Horror

After comedy, horror is the next most difficult art form to tackle; although comedy reigns king at the fringe there is still an eager audience waiting to be scared. Unfortunately they certainly are not going to find it in this production.

There is no atmosphere: the vast majority of running time of both plays sees people just standing around talking

Horror is all about pacing. The rhythm of the work is so important and the best horror is a slow build, but these productions fail to build at all. Their structures might be fine for drama but by the time the play gets to its finale, you’ll have lost interest and any chance of a fright will fly out of the window. They really have failed to get the basics of how to construct a frightening narrative.

There is no atmosphere: the vast majority of running time of both plays sees people just standing around talking. I realise they are on a budget, but they could have been served better by just having one person read some M.R. James on stage rather than fly an entire crew over.

The cast are not terrible but there is some baffling choices in character. Early in Dark North there is a quip about a family being like the Addams family, and when they turn up they are similar to the Addams but no in a funny way. There is too many of them and they need to be given their own little quirks but this just gets in the way of telling the story. Why does the aunt have a stutter? There is at least two If not four characters too many.

If you want to be frightened, I’d stay safe and stick to asking how much your pint is going to cost. Edinburgh might be the most haunted city in the world but you wouldn’t know it from this show.

Reviews by James W. Woe

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The Blurb

The ghost story that started it all! 10 years ago, Slippery Rock Theatre terrified Fringe audiences with a twisted tale of the macabre, Dark North. Now, SRT offers a revival of this five-star fright-fest, plus a special treat: spine-chiller Hungry Jane. In Dark North, a television psychic discovers there are some spirits who should never be disturbed. In Hungry Jane, a woman, terrorised by the ghost of a young girl, enlists the help of her ghost-hunting former lover. Their troubles are just beginning… A must-see double feature for horror fans!