Enthralling. Everything about Tin Robot Theatre’s adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ involved and excited the audience. Poe and Adam Carver took us on a psychological journey. Everything about the adaptation added to the theatrical experience: the witty yet intense script, the dramatic lighting and the passionate acting from the cast.
Poe’s tale takes us on a journey through the unstable mind of the character ‘Man’, putting the audience in both a fly on the wall position and providing us with privileged
access to events. You find yourself within a tundra of conflicted emotions as you are invited into his subconscious. An initially nugatory character on the surface soon unravels as the most tangled and evoking individual. Touwa Craig-Dunn who plays ‘Man’, captures the very essence of this with his emotional portrayal; the vulnerable nature of which Craig-Dunn plays the character, leaves the audience in a state of restless anticipation, unknowingly invested in the ‘Man[s]’ subconscious.
The Inspectors bring a chilling reminder of authoritarian presence, as the play is set in the near future, it is eerily reminiscent of an Orwellian ‘1984’, atmosphere. The Inspectors vexatious nature manipulates the audience to sympathise with ‘Man’. A dynamic feature of the Inspectors is that the character reveals the psychotic nature of the play: 3 individuals, Vita Fox, Jack Robertson and Joel Heritage, play this one character. All actors bought something different to the role, but unanimously enhanced the narrative and the theatrical experience, arguably driving the play through their powerful and intimidating portrayal of the Inspector.
It is the countless small motifs throughout the play that build on the dramatic experience, most notably the use of lighting. Torch beams shine on ‘Man’s’ face when we are thrown into his eerie account of events, both literally and metaphorically darkening the tale. The bright stage lights bring us back to a harsh reality of the present day. Whilst the most graphic scenes are performed in complete darkness, invoking a sense of discomfort amongst the audience, which is successfully emotionally provoking. This is also achieved through the use of sound, heavy breathing penetrates the theatre, engulfing the audience in the experience. Another gripping tale from The Tin Robot Theatre Company, it is a psychological journey you all must take