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Published Friday 27 November 2009 at 17:25 by Catherine Usher

An intriguing alternative to pantomimes and Christmas shows, Supernatural offers an antidote to festive frolics with a sinister tale full of frights and mystery.

Hilary Hodsman provides a nice anchor to the proceedings as the knowledgeable Miss Wilkins who, meeting six lost souls at an otherwise deserted tube station platform, takes them on a journey to explain how they ended up there. Dressed up in a respectable, Miss Marple-like fashion, she soon proves how deceptive first impressions can be - her gentle voice and mannerisms bely her destructive character. Hodsman is excellent as the increasingly sinister guide, conveying her subtle delight in other’s misfortune with infectious glee.

The rest of the cast deal admirably with the material, but the some of the explanatory episodes are far more gripping than others. Ben Hood stands out as the snarling Sam Hall in a performance that is as lavish as it is impressive. At times, his characterisation seems almost too big for the space, but, despite the theatricality, it is thoroughly convincing.

Madeleine Cooke is also a delight as Rain, a brash, cover-girl Goth - all precision-ripped stockings and rebelliously short skirts - who is arrogantly cynical about a certain cursed monkey’s paw she unearths on a bric-a-brac stall.

Although it doesn’t quite accomplish the “unbridled terror” it promises to unleash, Supernatural does make a brave stab at originality and suspense, and the efforts of the highly capable cast make it all the more enjoyable.

Production information

Lion and Unicorn, London, November 24-January 10

Aline Waites, Jago Turner
Mykal Rand,
Giant Olive, Simon James Collier
Andrew Boxer, Hilary Hodsman, Georgia Winters, Madeleine Cooke, Sophie Walton, David Swain, Amanda Golding, Ben Hood
Running time:
1hr 20mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014