Living alone in an isolated hotel can send you mad – witness Norman Bates. The same goes for Miss Amelia who’s been running Greywing House, since the enigmatic demise of her new husband William – but is she alone? She informs us that up the stairs is Mr Thurston who’s lying next to the remains of Miss Thurston with whom he may have had an incestuous relationship. Then there’s young Evelyn a precocious child who is constantly running noisily along the corridors and has dissected a seagull and is using its larynx to bring Miss Thurston back to life! Miss Amelia is definitely mad but do these people actually exist or are they figments of a very disturbed mind?
Mary Beth Morossa narrates the story of “Greywing House” through the use of prose, poetry, movement and multi-media in a marvellous one woman show at The Spread Eagle Theatre in Croydon one of London’s myriad theatres above a pub which allow small shows like this to find an audience. Mary Beth uses a variety of techniques to bring this gothic horror story to life. She takes a throw from a chair and turns it magically into a puppet bride. She puts on whiskers and a pair of strange, glowing glasses to instantly become old Mr Greywing off to commit suicide and then a greatcoat and more glowing glasses to become William as the sirens call and he leaves her for a mysterious sea creature. There’s also old fashioned shadow puppetry, the superb use of sound effects to form a soundscape and original music composed by Daniel Cross, which along with Mary Beth’s superbly clear diction and use of her body to convey madness, combine to make this a unique piece. There’s also some film which adds to the eerie quality that permeates the hour.
Mary Beth is a young talent whose show deserves to be seen by a wider audience. One man (or in this case one woman) shows can be very hit or miss – this one is definitely a hit.
Review by Alan Fitter
Greywing House sits precariously on the coast keeping watch over a cruel and tumultuous ocean. Miss Amelia has prepared you room, and awaits your arrival to introduce guests both past and present. Breakfast unfortunately no longer provided as one can never be entirely certain of time. A few simple rules: no smoking, no pets or animals (excepting of course Mr Thurston upstairs) and no chanting of evocations in communal areas.
After a near sell-out run at the London Horror Festival, award-winning performer Mary Beth Morossa returns with her second solo show, in which she intertwines dark storytelling, poetry, cabaret and theatrical performance. Greywing House proudly features original music by Daniel Cross (of Little Death Machine), studies themes of isolation and loss through a classically gothic lens, and is sure to carry you out into deep, dark waters.
Friday 26th June 2015