On hearing that Urban Aphrodite were adapting Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby for the stage, my first realization was that I had never seen a horror theatrical before. Horror being my favourite genre of film, this struck me as odd, but with cinema’s heavy reliance on special effects and CGI, I guess I didn’t believe a performance could awaken fear in me the way that some horror films had. However, the cast and crew truly embraced this challenge and used an impressive array of other mediums to create mood, add tension and signify danger as well as any camera angle or clever use of framing. Projections, non-diegetic narration, coloured lighting and haunting music, were all drawn upon to build an intense atmosphere. The low-key lighting formed shadows and darkened corners that really put across the idea of secrecy in the narrative, and enhanced rosemary’s imprisonment. The melancholy lullaby that surfaces between scenes has true dramatic effect and brought chills to my spine.
The common everyday occurrences seem strangely to be those most difficult to recreate in this piece. Before the horror comes to light, I found the acting a little over exaggerated and some facial expressions comical, therefore, unrealistic for such a natural happening of viewing an apartment. However, I can honestly say I had not one eye wandering moment and became gripped more intensely as the performance unfolded. The medley of short scenes allowed the story to flow quickly and those moments of silence were as important as any sound effect in the creation of fear. Each single sound that punctured the silence excited the ears of the audience. Furthermore, I must applaud the powerful portrayal, Amanda Daniels (Rosemary) captured sincerely, of a mother’s desperation for the safety of her baby, and her fight until the end to prove the truth.
Where: The Pearl Theatre, 471 Zhapu Road, near Wujin road.
When: 14th and 15th November. Doors open at 7:30, show begins at 8:30. Late night – Doors open at 10:30, show begins at 11:00.
By tickets at here
by Hannah Cherrington-Hall