Review: The Haunting of Hill House, Spotlight Theatre, Bridlington

The cast of The Haunting of Hill House and its director Mel Jones in rehearsal
The cast of The Haunting of Hill House and its director Mel Jones in rehearsal

This production from Spotlight Drama is the perfect production for the witching hour – atmospheric, gripping and scary.

Six people gather at Hill House to investigate claims that it is haunted – it is made clear from the start that murder, suicide and scandal haunt its rooms – and that it is so remote that no one can hear your scream.

Cue doors that close of their own accord, evil laughs echoing in the corridors, cold spots in the nursery, terrifying turrets and someone knocking on the door but there’s no one there.

Director Mel Jones and his technical team are clever and inventive – it is not so much what the audience see as what it doesn’t – imagination is much more potent than guts and gore.

The music is strange and weird and the sound effects produce terrifying suggestions of ghosts with evil on their minds.

The seven-strong cast are superb. Laura Sanders, Manda Holderness, Liz Edwards, Charles Hanley, Linda Thorpe and Joan Sanders are all excellent as the ‘psychic invesitagors’.

Hanley as Luke Sanderson brings the much-needed light relief and a touch of cynicism to the piece – which grow in its intensity as it moves along at a quick pace.

Lynda Musgrave steels every scene she is in as housekeeper Mrs Dudley – a prophet of doom.

The last ‘character’ is the house itself. The set and its dressings – which included a well-placed skull – and dark drapes and cushions – makes sure it is much more than a backdrop for the action. A fright night indeed.

The Haunting of Hill House is on at Spotlight Theatre, West Street, Bridlington, on Friday October 28 and Saturday October 29 at 7.30pm.

Tickets on door.