Wait Until Dark (1998)

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Poster by Trevor Court

by Frederick Knott

Directed by Jack King Produced by Tricia Court

Performances: Tue 2nd - Sat 6th June 1998, Bell Theatre


The mystery thriller's heroine is Susy Hendrix, a blind Greenwich Village housewife who becomes the target of three thugs searching for the heroin hidden in a doll her husband transported from Canada as a favour to a woman who since has been murdered. The trio tries to convince Susy her spouse has been implicated in the crime and the only way to protect him is to surrender the doll. More murder and mayhem ensue when she refuses, with the stage lights turned off for the final scene when Suzy levels the playing field by plunging her apartment into total darkness.<ref>Wikipedia entry</ref>

Our programme states:- The action takes place in a basement flat in an old house in Nottinghill Gate, early '60's.

Act 1: Scene 1 - Friday evening, Scene 2 - Saturday afternoon, Scene 3 - 20 minutes later.

Act 2: Scene 1 - An hour later, Scene 3 Immediately following, Scene 3 - A minute later.




"A thriller must keep us on the edge of our seats, wanting to know more but frightened of what it may be. I was on the edge of mine for much of this production of Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark, especially when Ian Mill as Roat took the stage. With an almost monotone delivery of his lines and a menacing calm to his movement, he created an atmosphere of sinister plotting and impending disaster. Equally convincing, was the blindness of Trine Barfods character Suzy, on which we had to believe if the play was to succeed. With these essentials in place and backed up by a superbly detailed set, good lighting and scary music, Jack King directed the production towards its climax. I had not seen the play before and, all right, I admit, I guessed the heroine would win through in the end, but the suspense was maintained to the finish and my heart did beat faster at the crucial moments. In these key areas the play succeeded.

However, while the suspense did build throughout the play it was not a steady process. Too often, the desire for emotional tension seemed to be expressed by turning up the volume and increasing the movement around stage ('Why are they shouting at me?' I kept thinking, and 'Less is more.') I was impressed by the unselfconscious portrayal of Gloria by Rachel Harte and the manner in which she and Trine Barfod acted together, giving us a relationship which developed in intensity and mutual understanding. Andy Smith as Mike also produced a convincing relationship with Suzy where friendship and duplicity melded realistically. At times though, actors appeared to be delivering their lines in a vacuum, seemingly unaware that their performances affected the overall shape of the play and were always in relation to other characters; a quieter approach and greater awareness of how each character relates to another, might have increased the tension still further."

~ Audience review <ref>Scene, August 1998</ref>


Reminiscences and Anecdotes

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See Also

Wait Until Dark (1969)



External Links