A wooden arch adorned with skeletons, warped moons and Gothic images, sets you up for all the requisite cheese required for a Halloween production called The Man of Shadows. It’s no Phantom of the Opera; the show is short and the stage is bite-size but within those parameters, the cast of two manages to tell a story that would go great with a full moon and a side of candy corn.
Written by Guenther Primig and directed by Darren Robert Smith for The Theatre of Shadows, this current production consists of a short story about an old man’s former career as one of the most distinguished horror actors of his time.
When we meet Val Arkham (Darren Robert Smith), he has fallen from the height of horror stardom and is relegated to starring at a run down dinner theater where his audience, on a good day, might consist of six old couples trying to catch some thrills with their cheeseburger. The story begins when a young journalist by the name of Laura Starling (Ciara Goss), walks into Arkham’s dressing room to deliver a letter written to him by an old friend of his – her father who has just passed away. The journalist ends up staying for much longer than she would have liked, and he decides to indulge her in his greatest secret.
Robert Smith truly puts his whole self into his character as Val Arkham and the result is a glimpse into his twisted world of love and loss. The plot ends up being more of a dark and Gothic tale than a bone-chilling horror story, but the theatre was full. So what’s awesome about it? It’s the eerie creepy feeling that hits you as you sit in your seat and the truth that many of us just love a good murder story. Either way, if you can get past the cheese and submit to the fact that you won’t be scared out of your pants, get yourself down to the English Theater and put yourself in the mood for Hallows Eve.
Man of Shadows | October 22-23, 25-30 20:00