Review: Mixed reactions as scares tackle stereotypes at Belgrade

The Mist in the Mirror
The Mist in the Mirror

The Mist in the Mirror. Belgrade Theatre, April 14-18

The Mist in the Mirror is Susan Hill’s slow pot boiler of a ghost story, similar to the Woman in Black, though not as good.

To be fair, ghost stories are hard to pull off. They rely on cliché, yet must appear fresh.

The Mist in the Mirror gives us warning a-plenty of impending doom.

At least half the action consists of appeals to the hero James Monmouth not to continue in his quest to discover the background to mysterious traveller, Conrad Vane, whose legend has, er, haunted him.

It’s a clever production, using a blacked out stage lit by some impressive, if somewhat overplayed, projections.

The play relies on a small cast, who undoubtedly work hard to bring a shiver to the spine. At the centre is Paul Warriner who commands the stage alone much of the time.

Martin Reeve plays a number of parts, and though his vocal dexterity is unquestionable, it was nevertheless a bit too easy to recognise him in each of them, though each part is fully formed.

The audience reaction seemed mixed. There was laughter at some scary bits, though whether from fear or embarrassment I couldn’t tell.

Certainly there was strong applause at the end. It was a good show, let down by a contrived plot that over-egged the threat of impending doom so that when it came it was something of a relief.

Rating 6/10

By Nick Le Mesurier