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The Small Hand at the Theatre Royal, Brighton – Review

The Small Hand at the Theatre Royal, Brighton – Review

The Small Hand, inspired by the novel of the same name by The Woman In Black author Susan Hill, tells a gripping story of childhood memories coming back to haunt. Recreated by Clive Francis, this psychological thriller is not one to be taken on light heartedly; its dark, intense and deplorable scenes are sure to leave viewers on the edge of their seats – in this it’s case a belated Halloween classic.
BKL The Small Hand- Diane Keen -  Andrew Lancel - Darren BellStarring Andrew Lancel as main character Adam Snow, the story begins dramatically with narrators Dianne Keen and Robert Duncan setting the scene in an overgrown house, down an old and winding lane. A mysterious reminder from Adam’s childhood is found leading to a series of questionable events and a terrifying secret.

Andrew Lancing offers a compelling characterization of a man slowly loosing his mind. Without giving too much away, the story begins with the reveal of a childhood photograph and ends with the turmoil of a man’s sanity. Narrator Dianne Keen contributes to this with warning signs throughout, increasing the trepidation and adding to the overall aura of the performance. Not to mention, the often unspoken star of the show – six-year old Charlie Ward, with his creeping entrances and exits.
BKL The Small Hand-Andrew Lancel - Darren BellThe design of the show by Elroy Ashmore also creates a chilling atmosphere throughout, with intensifying audio effects and highly theatrical lighting.

With all the thrilling elements to the show, there are brief glimmers of humour welcomed by the audience as relief from the rest of the story. Although engrossing, the show is at times very complex, with scenes somewhat slightly over exaggerated. However, with this being the nature of the genre, The Small Hand provides a commendable combination of faultless acting and electrifying effects.

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