The Barwell Prophecy
Insidiously effective late-night horror performed by talented young cast
This article is from 2012.
Pennsylvania’s Slippery Rock Theatre delivers that rarest of things: a genuinely creepy late-night horror show. They follow 2010’s historical shocker Deepchurch Hollow with something bang up to date, set in a shadowy Homeland Security monitoring office where eerie audio files mysteriously appear on a trio of agents’ laptops, and there’s an unaccountable feeling of cold in the former church’s gloomy spaces. When two young ‘agent groupies’ arrive for an evening of drinking and more, things soon run out of control as a malevolent presence makes itself increasingly felt.
There are all kinds of unlikelihoods and inconsistencies in the story, but it’s hard not to be swept along by the gradual but relentless ratcheting-up of tension. And the fact of the government’s watchers themselves being watched can’t help but raise a wry smile. Performances by the young cast are entirely convincing: it’s the slowly looming sense of dread that they convey, and the (by the end) shattering intensity of their performances, that make the whole thing so insidiously effective.
theSpace @ Venue 45, 0845 508 8387, until 11 Aug, 10.30pm, £8 (£6).