With its lingering shadows and creaking doors, Cranholme Abbey has many secrets to hide. A young group of friends accompany Charlie, who has newly inherited the Abbey, and it’s not long until they realise this house has a history – and a curse. Pleasance Theatre’s youth company, Young Pleasance, brings a splendid and haunting story to the stage.
I’m not someone who’s easy to scare, but with their chilling ghosts and enticing tales of a curse, Cranholme Abbey had hairs standing on the back of my neck. The show has everything you could want in a thriller. There are times when the audience jump in their seats – the production team has successfully created a very tense atmosphere. The sheer professionalism and talent from Young Pleasance make for a fun and immersive experience, and I was particularly impressed by their smooth stage transitions, which never once distracted from the action.
With three different timelines taking place, things could have got hard to follow, but Young Pleasance execute this perfectly – moulding each era individually before overlapping them in turn. As ghosts appear and different timelines begin to weave into one another, the quality of the choreography shines out. These varied eras are used to emphasise the curse which has been lingering over the Cranholme family for generations – an aspect that allows Young Pleasance to show off their skill on stage.
However, with such a large cast, I was often left wondering why I should care about some of the characters. In the little stage time some of them get, the actors manage to establish the essence of the individuals well – but a lot of it is a bit unnecessary.
It may have been nice to get more character development from the performance, but Curse of Cranholme Abbey has all the parts for an exciting thriller. With a group of talented actors and a well written plot, this is a show that is sure to have you on the edge of your seat.