Here’s the thing, this entire review is actually one big challenge. The challenge being to talk about the play, without talking about the play. Part of the fun of this piece is not knowing what you’re going into, let curiosity take you by the hand and lead through 2 hours of the unknown.
Well, okay, I can tell you a little about it – here’s a spoiler free idea from the website ccgilbert.net
“Tony Grandidge and Madeleine Calder who have just become engaged, have become stuck in the snow whilst attempting to reach a large ancestral manor house at the top of the hill, only ever referred to as The Hall. They walk from their abandoned car to the nearest building, an abandoned lodge on the edge of The Hall’s grounds. Tony forces open the door and they take shelter in the sinister building. They are soon joined by Jinty Mills, a dynamic, go-getting, blue-stocking who arrives in her own sporty car driven by herself. Jinty causes ructions in the smooth running of the relationship between Tony and Madeleine. Suddenly the three are terrified by the face of Jack Frost himself at the window. But it is only fellow party-goer Roger St James, dressed as Jack Frost. Roger is well-meaning, but idiotic. From this opening situation, Gilbert weaves a plot of increasing suspense and terror around the myth of Jack Frost and the frozen situation the four characters find themselves in. The arrival of the Dowager Lady Agatha reveals a plot twist that has created much discussion amongst readers. It is only the intervention of Constable Tomlinson that brings an element of rationality to this night of terror. The repeated warnings, including those later on to “Beware the Ice” and “Mistrust those you most trust” add to the tension.”
There is more to this play than meets the idea. There’s also a curse. Now, you may or may not believe how literature can be cursed, but if you do so happen to check out the CC Gilbert website mentioned above, you’ll start to understand what I’m talking about. During the actual production I saw, quite a few weird things happened – including a text from an unknown number telling me to “Beware the ice”.
That aside, a stella cast bring the story to life and by the time you leave you’ll have a distinct feeling of not knowing what’s real and what’s make believe. Special mention to Rula Lenska who you feel plays to type – just brilliantly.
Immerse yourself into the experience and you won’t go far wrong. It’s quite a technical piece to produce, sound and visuals both used in a very clever way – such is my geekiness I notice these things, you on the other hand will take things in a different way.
The production does remind me a little of Ghostwatch by Stephen Volk that was broadcast back in the 90s on Halloween on BBC1, and I loved that too as much as I loved my night at the Weston Studio at Wales Millennium Centre watching The Frozen Scream.
If you do go, remember… beware the ice