Based on: An excerpt of Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Adaptor: Rachel Warr
Director: Rachel Warr
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
Based on an extract from Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, The Lonely One is a suspenseful tale staged using shadow-puppetry, sound effects, and a strong cast. With a set comprising four miniature houses which double as screens for the puppetry, a multitude of characters and comedic nods are made using this convention, much to the amusement of the audience.
Somewhat Hitchcockian in its style, the story follows the fortunes of Lavinia Nebbs (Rachel Warr) who refuses to be frightened into staying at home despite the fact that a predatory murderer know as The Lonely One is lurking in the shadows of her village. Walking through the village with her friend Francine (Jennie Fox) they encounter various locals, including the hilariously cantankerous Miss Roberta, manipulated and voiced by Gilbert Taylor. Having made an awful discovery on their travels, the women return to their respective homes, prompting a marvellous monologue from Warr who is outstanding in the central rôle.
Atmospheric but slow moving, this is an intriguing play but lacks the tension one would expect. Perhaps this is due to the intrusive noise of the production next door – which they cannot remedy – or perhaps it is the style of the piece, which is a choice. Regardless, there were a few moments that dragged which is a shame given the overall quality of the production. The highlights however were a range of superb sound effects, deft puppetry, and some striking visual moments like the representation of fireflies and moths using simple yet highly effective methods. Dramatic, different, and skilfully performed this is certainly an enjoyable piece full of inventive ideas.
Until 26th August