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The Girl in the Green Room (Susan Elkin reviews)

The Girl in the Green Room

Written and directed by Luke Adamson

A Bridge House Theatre production at Jack Studio

 Star rating: 3

It’s a one man (Joseph Lindhoe) 60 minute play with a bit of off-stage voicing from Laura White. Lindhoe’s nameless character describes and relives a 1910 visit to a dark candlelit bookshop for shelter in very heavy rain. Therein he meets his own past in the form of young woman, now dead, who’s looking for vengeance. Actually I think we’re supposed to infer that he fell asleep in the “reading nook”.

Lindhoe is an accomplished actor who builds in a wide range of moods so the piece feels pretty dynamic. Several times his character is taken by surprise – and so is the audience.

The play puports to be inspired by Walter de la Mare. I also detected whiffs of Edgar Allen Poe, MR James, Wilkie Collins and Dickens. Adamson’s text keeps the language slightly formal (words like “aforementioned”, “to lie with” in the biblical sense and “livid” meaning lively) to remind us that this is 114 years ago when speech modes were different. But there are inconsistencies such as “train station”, “okay” and “ink pen” which I found jarring.

One of the best things about this show is the sound track which Adamson designed himself. It’s continual, disturbing and adds greatly to the spooky atmosphere. Sometimes it’s drumming rain with claps of thunder. Mostly it’s sinister sounds like breathing, sometimes quite loud, and knocking with wails and gasps – really quite an aural tour de force.

This production is part of a new collaboration between Bridge House Theatre, Penge and Jack Studio, Brockey which is an excellent development. It makes perfect sense for two fringe theatres in neighbouring suburbs to work together for the benefit of both venues and their audiences

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Susan Elkin Susan Elkin is an education journalist, author and former secondary teacher of English. She was Education and Training Editor at The Stage from 2005 - 2016
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