City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Curse of Cranholme Abbey, The Pleasance, Review


By Jon Cross - Posted on 09 August 2017

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Show details
Company: 
Young Pleasance
Running time: 
60mins
Production: 
Heather Rose (Producer) with Kathryn Norton-Smith, Tim Norton (writer) with Jo Billington, Becky Larter (stage management & LX operator), Liberty Guillamon (props and on-stage crew), Will Feasey (set design, construction and painting), Simone Jones (costume design and wardrobe)
Performers: 
Young Pleasance

The derelict and crumbling Cranholme Abbey has been in the same family for generations, but the ancient mansion hides a dark and terrible secret which the walls can only whisper. Can young Charlie Cranholme and his friends unravel the past and lift the curse that threatens them all?

This is a complex drama set across three centuries with plenty of scope for the large cast to explore interesting roles. As we have come to expect with Young Pleasance, this is ensemble playing of a very high standard without necessarily producing any stand-out performances. There are, however, many delightful cameos, such as the encounter between the American GIs and the local girls or the chilling exchanges between the old Viscount and his young wife.

What is most striking about this production is the precision stagecraft which moves the action so seamlessly between the three eras of the drama. As a couple of sections of the set are moved and one group of players leaves as another arrives, we are transported in an instant from 1942 to 1872 or 2013. This is stage direction and performance of the highest order. It is even more extraordinary given that the whole piece was put together in just ten days and the whole company deserves the highest praise for this aspect alone.

All these clean switches between the years set up a great opportunity for a dramatic twist when the past refuses to stay neatly in its place and begins to intrude on the present.

This is another triumph for this talented young company.

Until August 19, 15:30