Friday, 14 August 2009

The Bone House - Village Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe

The Bone House
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
Fringe Rating: Four Stars

Edward Crowley is on the trail of a serial killer - the elusive Midnight Cowboy. A killer so elusive, in fact, that the police have not admitted he exists. But Crowley knows he does, and through this lecture-based piece of theatre introduces the audience to his theory, evidence, and witness. Full of visual aids, audience participation, and a lot of red-herrings, ‘The Bone House’ unsettles the audience and plunges them into the dark world of both the killer and his obsessive hunter, leaving us to wonder where ones obsession ends and the other begins...

Extremely well thought out, staged and acted, ‘The Bone House’ is unlike any other play you will see this festival. Interspersed with psychological tests, film clips and sound, this is a true multimedia experience which will have you alternately laughing and shrieking. Chris Fassbender is both engaging and unnerving as Crowley, a man you feel is teetering on the brink of either a stroke of genius or a complete breakdown - he seems so wrapped up in his obsession with serial killers that you fear for his sanity, a feeling that deepens as the play unfolds.

His witless assistant, Jacob, assists Crowley as he addresses our society’s unhealthy interest in the killers, and ignorance of the victims. Gabrielle, a witness to Midnight Cowboy’s crimes, is put in a trance and recounts the horrific events of Halloween 1998. Tracey Power is breathtaking as the traumatised Gabby, seeming to genuinely experience the horror we can only imagine, and infecting the room with a sense of dread that is a major key change in the piece. After her revelation, Crowley behaviour becomes frenetic and he goes on to reconstruct the Cowboy’s last murder is a disturbingly realistic manner. Midnight Cowboy always kills in front of an audience...wait a minute - we are an audience...

It is impossible to say more about the play without giving too much away, but suffice it to say that it is an engaging, enigmatic, and entertaining show that will stay with you -particularly in the dark! And just remember, a serial killer could be someone you know.

Underbelly, 11-15 Aug, 11:45 (13:15), £7:00 (£6:00)
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