It’s a normal day at the local inn of the English village of Iping, until a man by the name of Dr. Griffin walks in the door. The stranger wears a long-sleeved, thick coat and gloves, his face is hidden entirely by bandages except for a pair of dark glasses. Who is this stranger? The events that follow prove there certainly is a fine line between genius and insanity.
The Queen’s Theatre is fast-becoming a hub of cultivating new writing and ‘The Invisible Man’ is another example of this; especially adapted by Clem Garritty for Theatre, based on the H.G.Wells’ classic.
The story itself was very appropriate for Halloween, with a spooky feeling to the night. But it also contained a lot of comedy and even some education, with tuition on the refraction of light. All of the actors were also musicians, with accordions and guitars amongst the instruments on stage and they do a great job, with musical interludes that took me back to the days of ‘Cut to the Chase’, when each actor in a Queen’s Theatre performance had to know how to play at least two instruments.
The show is a visual spectacular, with all kinds of magic tricks giving the appearance of an invisible man on the stage. The Queen’s Theatre even brought on a magic consultant, John Bulleid, for the production and the rewards can be seen during the show, including floating money bags, books and much more that has to be seen to be believed. But it’s not just fancy props that keep up the façade, all of the actors are adept in mime and there are many scenes where characters seem to be thrown across the stage by an unseeable force or punched across the chest or face.
With all of these tricks on stage this production would be a great night out for teenagers and although there are a few scary moments it would easily favour any secondary school child who wanted an exciting belated Halloween night out.
The play takes place across two different time frames, before and after the experiments, and the first few times this transaction took place I did find it hard to understand what was going on, but I soon became accustomed to these two times periods thanks to obvious transactions at these moments.
The staging is at first simple, using the tool of darkness to allow the illusion of invisibility at key moments, but at times parts of the stage slid out to expand the set, another grand slam for The Queen’s Theatre set design and technicians.
The whole night was extremely enjoyable and I would recommend going to see this classic story of man and monster.