Everyone loves a good ghost story. Stories of the supernatural have engrossed countless audiences, with authors innovatively evoking unease within the listener. Described as a one-man ghost story inspired by the works of Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and other noteworthy authors, The Moonlit Road offers what sounds like a potentially spine-chilling spectacle. However, despite such a promising premise, this story fails to meet such expectations.
In a one-man show such as The Moonlit Road there needs to be an individual with a strong stage presence, who can grasp the audience and create suspense. Unfortunately, this production does not possess such an individual. While Philip Kingscott must be commended for carrying the show on his own, he continually struggles to create and maintain tension. There is a lack of diversity between the roles he portrays, causing his performance in places to feel unconvincing. Any impressive moments are left overshadowed by the story’s underwhelming plot.
It is not just the theatrical performance that is lacklustre: throughout it feels as if everything within this production is done half-heartedly. Peapod Productions are still a fairly new theatre company, and it feels as if they are trying to find their footing. Consequently, there are many missed opportunities in terms of the use of sound and lighting to create atmosphere during each of the monologues, which could potentially have created a more intriguing performance. There is some merit in their use of props, which the actor uses in different ways to aid his portrayal of the different ancestors through time. Perhaps the main issue of the whole production is the story itself. Falling back on a number of clichés, it lacks originality and is not anything that we haven’t seen before. This only makes the actor’s job more difficult, to somehow find a way to surprise and shock us.
While The Moonlit Road could have some potential, unfortunately here Peapod Productions have missed the mark. The show’s lack of ingenuity and presence leaves this story best left unread.
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