London docklands is home to the former Presbyterian Church now known as The Space Theatre. It isn’t one of the easiest Off West End Theatre’s to travel to. However, the quirkiness and character of the Theatre certainly make the journey and effort worthwhile.
Tuesday 23rd March 2021 saw the opening night of Threedumb Theatre’s fourth post lockdown production “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe. Set within the old Church and using the outside areas, cameraman David Smith follows the main protagonist performed by Stephen Smith around the building as he tells us the tale of The Black Cat.
The alcoholic is descending into insanity as he recalls the tale of the violent and evil events that took place during his marriage. His confession taking place on the eve of his death can be seen as his consciousness wanting reconciliation before he is about to meet his maker. The former Church is the perfect setting for this to take place.
Michaela Bennison’s performance as his long-suffering wife plays a haunting figure for much of her time on the stage. Adding another dimension to this dark gothic tale.
The imaginative and creative way in which Threedumb Theatre use the entire Theatre’s “space” has been brilliantly choreographed. From the noisy Tavern scene set in the Theatre’s bar to the eerie cellar scene where Smith washes his hands.
The lighting effects created by Eddie Stephens casts a macabre setting inside and outside at The Space. The shadows cast an eerie atmosphere to the entire performance. At times I felt as if Smith was talking to me directly.
The Black Cat is a great production for this particular zoom platform. The emptiness of the Theatre and the echoing within some of the main rooms bought this 1843 macabre masterpiece to life. I was drawn into the anger, danger and shocked by some of the dramatic outbursts which may not have had the same emotional impact had I been sat in an auditorium with other theatre goers.
This live-streamed zoom production is running until 26th March 2021. I would highly recommend booking yourself space at the venue.