Adelaide Fringe: Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe

Reverb Theatre's Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe. Image supplied
Reverb Theatre’s Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe. Image supplied

Reverb Theatre’s presentation of an abbreviated version of Eric Coble’s Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe is a generally good amateur production. It’s a family friendly play and a number of friendly blocs of Mum, Dad and the kids seated in the auditorium were augmented with uncles, aunties, cousins and grandparents. Their smiling and lively chatter after the show was clear indication of their judgement.

The venue, Brighton Performing Arts Centre, in the grounds of Brighton Secondary School, is one of those new and excellently fitted out theatres in the suburbs – the type of relatively comfortable community venue which will only be neglected due to its location. In the oppressive heat of a South Australian summer the air-conditioning alone is a worthy improvement for the actors and the audience on many of the more ‘serious’ venues in and around the CBD.

Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe asks the question; was Poe mad? Well, of course he was! But what a beautiful madness. If only there were more mad artists like him, we would all be richer for the art produced.

The show presents 3 separate Poe tales ‘The Raven’, ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’ and ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’. Of the 3 ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ was received the best, but then it was the most traditional with effective theatrics and a linear storyline.

Of the actors, Liam Andrews performed best in the role of Poe and if a career in acting doesn’t pan out for him he could always try a career in radio – he just has that sort of voice. Close behind were Ellie Heard and Madeline Rogers who put in strong performances for ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’.

Director Henry Bullitis’ work was amiable and he made good use of the large space but there were times when the drama required tightening and an eye for detail was needed with the costumes as radiant yellow shoelaces don’t work when everyone (else) on stage is dressed head to toe in black.

The lighting was always simple and always effective as was the set and the ambient sound.

Ultimately, Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe is a Poe show for the fans and clearly the fans enjoyed it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *