The Devonshire Park summer season closes with a major new version of the tightly wound and chilling thriller Night Must Fall, which premieres August 19 until September 3 ahead of a national tour.
The cast, which includes Gwen Taylor (Barbara, Duty Free), Daragh O’Malley (Sharpe, Withnail And I), Niamh McGrady (Holby City, The Fall) and Will Featherstone (Fresh Meat, Endeavour), have been rehearsing in Eastbourne all week ahead of the show on Friday.
This new revival of Welsh playwright Emlyn Williams’ deliciously tense drama is a nerve-jangler set in the remote woodland home of the decidedly unlikeable Mrs Bramson.
It’s 1935 and when Mrs Bramson’s young maid admits that she is pregnant, her steely employer insists on meeting the father, Dan, a young Welsh bellboy at a local hotel who’s new to the town and quick to charm the disagreeable old woman. Though suave and charming, Dan is playing a terrifying game, and the odds are in his favour. A local woman has been found brutally and horribly murdered and there is one main suspect - him.
With encroaching dread the audience will realise that there is no escape as night indeed must fall, but what will darkness bring?
Eastbourne favourite Gwen Taylor takes the central role of the wheelchair bound and universally disliked Mrs Bramson. “I love her,” said Gwen, “I think she’s a horrible woman. She refuses to understand anybody. She wants to be needed but nobody needs her.”
Despite being written over 80 years ago Night Must Fall will leave audiences teetering on the very edge of their seats.
Director Luke Sheppard explains: “It’s a period play and absolutely of its time but for me there’s a huge amount within the play that will speak to a contemporary audience.” This is reflected in the stunning set from acclaimed designer David Woodhead.
Nightly performances at 7.45pm and 2.30pm Matinees on Wednesday and Saturday; tickets from £15.50, book on 01323 412000 or online www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk.
Night Must Fall is produced by The Original Theatre Company (Birdsong, Flare Path) in association with Eastbourne Theatres and the Sailsbury Playhouse.
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