BRACKEN MOORBy Alexi Kaye Campbell
Information / Reviews
Read the Variety review ›
This haunting, haunted play is staged with impeccable grace and feeling by Polly Teale.
Cannily uncanny and forcefully acted
Beautifully crafted... thrilling theatre.. intellectually as well as emotionally haunting
compelling... Polly Teale's notably well-acted production maintains a high and satisfying level of achievement
A haunting tale... beautifully judged... a bold play that revels in its own theatricality...
The Arts Desk
Outstanding performances..nothing is predictable up to the final seconds... unmissable
The Public Reviews
Campbell is a skilled story-teller and his skill is matched by the creative team's technical prowess
You'll find Bracken Moor somewhere between An Inspector Callsand The Woman in Black. Or, within the confines of Alexi Kaye Campbell's fourth play, a psychological chiller set in the Depression of the 1930s; you'll find it yomping distance from the stifling, wood-panelled Yorkshire home of the industrialist Harold Pritchard and his wife Elizabeth. Ten years ago, their 12-year-old son Edgar died a slow, lonely death on the moor. Now Edgar's best friend, Terence, and his parents, Vanessa and Geoffrey, have come to see the Pritchards again. They find that Elizabeth wants to join her boy in death. Until, that is, Terence gets possessed by the spirit of Edgar.
Moody lighting, creaking doors, stiff upper lips ... this is not your usual Tricycle fare. And, though Polly Teale's production for her company Shared Experience deploys its devices sparingly, the sense persists that something will go bump in the night. Something, Kaye Campbell contends, has to to go bump to save the Pritchards. He also - very Priestley - equates Harold's impermeability to his harsh attitude to his miners, 140 of whom he is about to make redundant.
Bracken Moor pulls its punches just a bit, as both a chiller and as a political tract. Yet it's an absorbing show, about the importance of stories; how pragmatism and poetry need each other. Teale's first-rate production brings Kaye Campbell's period pastiche to vivid life, with its formal speech, its mentions of Orwell, Gandhi and Freud. The cast of eight pitches it perfectly. Daniel Flynn is aggressively rational as the slicked-back Harold, Helen Schlesinger's Elizabeth is a grey woman who slowly comes to life again, Sarah Woodward is a jauntily sociable Vanessa who shows her steel when Joseph Timms's unconventional, side-parted Terence is in danger.
It's not entirely free from the sort of fiction-friendly psychology that suggests a problem faced is a problem resolved. It more than makes up for that with a moving conclusion on the link between love and imagination. I smiled, I shed a tear and - I won't tell you when - I jumped out of my seat.
The Times, Dominic Maxwell, June 18 2013
Support / Education
Co-producing Bracken Moor with the Tricycle ensures we can share costs and create this exciting new show. However we still need your support to secure our future. If you have ever considered making a donation to support the great theatre Shared Experience produces, now would be the perfect time - from £1 to £50,000 - every penny counts.
Donate now via the Big Give website.
The first 20 people to donate £500 or more will be invited to the Bracken Moor Press Night and After Show party as our guests.
Everyone who donates over £20, who also books a ticket to Bracken Moor, will receive a free programme for the night they attend.