Spokenworld, out now
Nancy learns that ghost-hunting sometimes answers too many questions…
Scott Harrison’s short standalone new play (it runs just under half an hour) provides the listener with an intriguing journey, and is definitely one of those stories which takes on a whole new meaning when listened to a second time – making it hard to review without giving away any of the many twists which alter how you perceive the characters from one minute to the next. There’s more than one occasion where you’ll find yourself going, “But surely…” only to find your objection dealt with in the script a moment later, but equally you’ll be blindsided by some of the ideas, particularly as the genre elements become more noticeable.
It starts with Rosalyn Landor’s Nancy standing in the ruins of a holiday camp which burned down a quarter of a century later as she tries to make contact with the “other side”. She’s not expecting the appearance of Simon Jones’ David Voland, and certainly is surprised by his knowledge of her past. From there it develops into a discussion of when it’s right to take a stand, the lengths to which some people are prepared to go in order to save a loved one, and the merits or otherwise of facing up to what you’ve done and taking the appropriate punishment.
Landor and Jones give sterling performances: Landor’s character is put through the wringer by events in the past and present (and even the potential future) while Jones portrays a man who has been faced with two unenviable options in his past and knows that whatever he did would have consequences that would be hard to live with. Neil Gardner’s direction and editing allows the story to breathe where it needs to – there are times you need time to let developments sink in – while James Dunlop’s music adds a lyrical texture.
Verdict: A well-structured bittersweet tale. 8/10