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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

REVIEW: The Book of Darkness & Light at Camden People's Theatre

For The Book of Darkness & Light, the auditorium of the Camden People's Theatre is bare and semi-dark. Centre stage, a wooden crate is standing upright and serves as a coffee table for a pewter tankard and three artificial candles. These emanate a pulsing orange glow, strong enough for me to see the violin laying on the floor. On the other side of the crate, there's an empty chair.

First to walk onto the stage is Ben Styles, whose accompaniment at the violin is the undiscussed highlight of this 60-minute ghost stories showcase. Like a lament, his first note echoes from wall to wall, tearing the silence before drowning in darkness. A second longer note floats in the space like a slow cry, sending chills down my spine.

When the door opens again, another man slowly walks in, holding a lantern high up and inspecting, one by one, the spectators sat on the front row. He's wearing a black suit, with a white shirt and a black tie, his overcoat is also black, but his scarf is red, and his shoes are brown. For a second, I get distracted by this detail and I start wondering about the odd choice.
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