Spine-tingling tale launches Southwick Players’ new season

Nikki Dunsford and Andrew Wesby, back, with Kate Stoner, Bertie Atkinson, Nina Hayward and Keziah Israel
Nikki Dunsford and Andrew Wesby, back, with Kate Stoner, Bertie Atkinson, Nina Hayward and Keziah Israel

Southwick Players’ first production for the 2018 season is the Gothic ghost story The Turn of the Screw.

The Barn Theatre in Southwick will be transformed into the parlour of a grand country house, where all is not as it seems.

Set in the late 19th century, this classic, costumed ghost story by Henry James has been adapted for stage by Ken Whitmore.

Director Gary Cook said: “It is guaranteed to send shivers down your spine with its tale of a new governess arriving to take charge of two orphaned children.

“It’s a real treat for lovers of Victorian Gothic. There’s no blood and gore in this production, just a thrilling and thought-provoking game of shadows to entertain and chill our audiences.”

The talented cast of ten includes Nikki Dunsford from Steyning playing Miss Jessel, Andrew Wesby from Hove playing Peter Quint, Kate Stoner from Hove playing Mrs Grose, Bertie Atkinson from Brighton playing Miles, Nina Hayward from Hove playing Flora and Keziah Israel from Portslade playing Miss Grey.

To begin with, the children appear to be model pupils but gradually, the governess starts to suspect that something is very wrong.

As she sets out to uncover the corrupt secrets of the old house, she becomes convinced that something evil is watching her and the children.

This much-loved tale is often cited as one of the first psychological ghost stories.

Is the naive Miss Grey imagining everything? Are the children really evil? How much does the housekeeper, Mrs Grose, know about the history of the house? And, most unsettling of all, what happened to the previous governess?

Performances are from Wednesday, March 7, to Saturday, March 10. Tickets are £11 from the box office on 01273 597094 or at www.southwickplayers.org.uk