I Met A Man Who Wasn’t There – May 2011


By Philip Meeks

Directed by Bruce James

Company: Bruce James Productions

Venue: Connaught Theatre

Date: Friday 27th May 2007

This was a reasonably decent modern supernatural thriller, which didn’t scare me much, but did have some tension, and the unravelling of the story was well done. It was a two-hander with a cast instantly recognisable from the soaps – Cathy Shipton as Amanda Schilling and Brian Capron as Edgar Ryme, a supposed clairvoyant. She’s a journalist who claims to be doing an article on clairvoyants, and is willing to pay him for his time and information. They swap ghost stories and it’s clear she’s got something to hide, but then so does he, and then strange things begin to happen…….

The set was a small living/dining room in an upstairs flat. Window with permanently drawn curtains to the left, then the door to the kitchen, then an area I couldn’t see very well – hidden by the table – but it had the record player, then the dresser with various windmills and other knick-knacks. Centre back was the fireplace with a large mirror over; the fireplace was screened off with a board and there was a small electric fire in front of that. The door to the outside world was to the right of the fireplace, then a table and comfy chair. There was a sofa under the window, and the dining table with chairs was front and left.

We moved closer in the interval, as I wasn’t able to hear all the dialogue in our original seats. Sadly, the theatre was less than half-full, so we had no problem relocating. The title refers to the poem Antigonish by Hughes Mearns (I’m relying on Wikipedia here, so fingers crossed), which David keeps reciting as part of his strategy for taking over Edgar, and it did become a bit creepy after a while. The performances were fine, and although the writing was a little clunky at times, there were also several fine speeches, most notably Amanda’s description of her time in Bosnia. It may not be a masterpiece, but this deserves better audiences, and I hope they get them.

© 2011 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me

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