An old house with a tragic backstory. A doctor studying supernatural phenomena. A pair of psychically receptive research assistants.
What could go wrong?
John Cillino’s immersive theatrical production The Haunting of Hill House is certain to impress. Attendees are first captured by Katherine Kimmel’s Mrs. Dudley, who is quite specific about what she will and will not do for the guests of Hill House: she will not wait on people, for example, and she insists on leaving before sundown. As Mrs. Dudley tells the guests about Hill House, the audience can quickly discern that it is not a place that one should like to spend much time—but the cast laughs gently at Mrs. Dudley’s eccentricities, and theatregoers are also lulled into a fleeting sense of joviality.
That all changes once Wylette Selvideo’s Elanor Vance and Caitlin Robert’s Theodora begin to experience supernatural occurrences. How can we explain the aggressive banging on Elanor’s door, for example, when Dr. Montaque (Ralph Stokes) and Luke (Tristan Cole) were out on the house grounds? Do we believe the electric Mrs. Montaque (Irene Handren) when she insists that she has been able to contact the beyond? What is the ghostly apparition that visits Elanor’s room while she sleeps?
Tensions rise, relationships are tested and pandemonium ensues, especially after Dr. Montaque’s contrarian wife arrives with her driver Arthur (George Sanchez) in the second act. As the seemingly sentient house begins to seize on Elanor’s own troubled past, the audience must begin to question where the house ends and its houseguests begin.
The Haunting of Hill House is a chilling Halloween tale that is sure to please.
The Haunting of Hill House runs October 8 – 31 at The Granite Theatre, 1 Granite Street, Westerly, RI.