Dark is the Night

Production details

  • Venue
  • Gilded Balloon Teviot
  • Edinburgh Festival
  • Production company
  • Gilded Balloon Productions
  • Performance dates
  • 3–27 August 2001
  • Written by
  • H.F. Arnold
  • A.M. Burrage
  • Adapted by
  • Paul Sellar
  • Directed by
  • Ken Bentley
  • Produced by
  • Ken Bentley
  • Andrew Dickens

Cast

  • Dougie Arbuckle
  • John Brenner
  • Jonathan Coope
  • Philip Dinsdale

Synopsis

New adaptations of The Night Wire by H.F. Arnold and The Waxwork by A.M. Burrage in a double bill of mystery and suspense.

The Night Wire

A series of wire reports speak of an ominous fog shutting down an unknown city. Strange shapes are seen in the fog, voices cry out from within and people begin to disappear mysteriously until suddenly, the wire updates stop.

The Waxwork

A young reporter spends the night alone in a wax museum surrounded by the effigies of murderers past and present. Deep into the night, tired and isolated, he begins to see movement in the shadows.

An enjoyably journalistic theme links this adaptation of two of the tales that filled the pages of long-gone mags like Amazing Stories. Kicking off as a prelude is the short but effective The Night Wire, a slice of creepy hokum about a man-eating fog creating deadline problems for an international news agency.

Manning the night shift are a pair of hardnosed editors (Jonathan Coope and John Brenner) who idly debate the latest Test scores from Australia until wire operator Philip Dinsdale becomes the receptacle of a rolling news item that proves as deadly as it is unexpected.

Next dollop of horror is The Waxwork, a longer piece which allows the atmosphere to get really cranked up. A struggling reporter (Dinsdale) wants to write a feature on how he spent the night in a waxworks museum. He convinces the unwilling manager (Coope) and nightwatchman (Dougie Arbuckle) that it would make great PR too. Of course you know something is going to happen, particularly since the hapless journalist picks the murderers section – duh! When they come the shocks make the entire hall jump.

A great, great cast makes excellent work of Paul Sellars’ composite script, with spot-on direction from Ken Bentley.
— The Stage