City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Tell-Tale Heart

By Barbara Bryan - Posted on 11 August 2008

The Tell-Tale Heart      Photo:  Jeff Busby
Show details
Malthouse Melbourne Production
Running time: 
Barrie Kosky (director and adaptor), Anna Tregloan (set and costume), Paul Jackson (lighting)
Martin Niedermair (narrator), Barrie Kosky (pianist)

The Tell-Tale Heart is an adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe gothic, dark tale. A gripping monologue, we are from the beginning taken right into the mind of the insane character who has methodically plotted the gruesome murder of an old man who lives in his house.

Adapted and directed by the controversial Australian director Barrie Kosky, it is a powerful production. The play opens in complete darkness, and an eerie silence, lasting for several minutes, pervades the auditorium. Then a lit face of the deranged character appears, masterfully played by the Austrian actor Martin Miedermair who is standing on a tall wooden stair, the only prop used throughout.

An aura of suspense is sustained throughout by the excellent use of lighting. Music is an integral part of the production played on the piano by Kosky, who is barely visible in the darkened stage. The choice of compositions, including some original work by Kosky, is extremely effective in reinforcing the psychotic state of the character, who also bursts into manic singing periodically. Kosky feels this is important as it "reveals another element of the narrator's character. You get taken into the mind of this man."

The Tell-Tale Heart is a marvellous, innovative production.

Times: Aug 9-11 (times vary)