A severed hand crosses the stage, a contorted figure crawls down the stairs like a crab, and a man is gutted right in front of us. Going into this I feel incredibly excited, and perhaps slightly uneasy to see this horror piece, but unfortunately Jakop Ahlbom’s homage to the genre leaves a sour taste, as it does anything but terrify.
When watching a horror film at home you’re usually alone, in a smaller space; there’s a real sense of ‘this could happen to me’, and that generates the fear. One of the main problems in this piece lies in the audience and performer relationship; we are too far apart from one another. It’s hard to invest in fear when there are another thousand people also having the same experience. It makes the action uninteresting; the moments where bodily organs are removed don’t make me feel uneasy; instead I think it is a cheap trick to generate a reaction.
Innovative storytelling occasionally makes its way through. No text is spoken throughout, yet their skill in mime keeps me somewhat engaged. It is interesting to see a play performed completely without words, instead seeing it physicalised through the body. The highlight of the piece is the end scene between the young woman and her ghostly figures; the shift in energy give us interesting fight choreography, as they are all butchered in front of us.
I say highlight, unfortunately five minutes of excitement cannot make up for the other seventy-five minutes of drivel. It’s not a play that will make you jump out of your seat; the biggest fright of the night for me, and a lot of other people comes when an audience member takes their seat late. Horror is meant to trigger your senses, engage with your paranoia, and instil discomfort, yet all this play does is make for dull watching and a disappointing feeling after. 2/5
Review written by Alistair Wilkinson.
Horror is currently showing at Sadler’s Wells until Saturday 10th June 2017. For more information on the production, visit here…