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Murder in the Dark review (Original Theatre)

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Torben Betts’ ‘Murder in the Dark’ is the latest addition to Original Online. Starring Tom Chambers and Susie Blake, the play toured the UK and Ireland from September 2023 – March 2024 and has now found a permanent home on the online streaming platform from Original Theatre. Filmed by Tristan McShepherd at the Southend Palace Theatre, Original Theatre are providing audiences with the opportunity to see the thriller for the first time at home or relive the twists and turns again, this time from their own sofas.

Rebecca Charles, Laura White, Owen Oakeshott, Susie Blake, Jonny Green and Tom Chambers in Murder in the Dark
© Pamela Raith

About the play

The play takes place on New Year’s Eve and focuses on the Carmichael family, who are stranded for the night after Nigel (known by his stage name of Danny Sierra) crashes their car on route to London. The weather has taken a turn for the worst and they find themselves totally off the grid for the evening, sheltering at a holiday home in the middle of the countryside. Their temporary landlord Mrs Bateman offers the family refuge, but the house is incredibly rundown and experiences intermittent power cuts. The part-dark comedy, ghost story and thriller follows the family across one long night, as they struggle with each other’s company and the eeriness of this desolate accommodation.

Thriller elements

Without giving anything away, Murder in the Dark is not for the faint-hearted with lots of shocking revelations and jump scares which capture attention. Made even more exhilarating thanks to Tristan’s jarring camera work, the camera cuts hold up the illusions, making you believe in the paranormal.

Rebecca Charles, Owen Oakeshott, Susie Blake, Jonny Green and Tom Chambers in Murder in the Dark
© Pamela Raith

How is the atmosphere on film?

As much as I enjoyed the surprise elements of the show, the filmed format feels like it is missing that magic element that could only be achieved through being immersed in the production live in a theatre. At the start the trickery catches you totally off guard, but as the plot thickens, the chilling atmosphere dips and you can’t help but feel like you are waiting for the big climax. It totally ramps up again at the end though, reaching new heights. Despite my thoughts, I would love to watch the show again and see it with inquisitive eyes. It can’t have been an easy feat to pull off some of the special effects.

Engaging cast performances

Susie Blake is electric as the enigmatic and cheeky Mrs Bateman. You can’t help but chuckle at her witty, but mysterious betrayal of the character. Tom Chambers also conveys the struggling former pop star with gravitas, coming to terms with everything he has missed through pursuing fame. He is incredibly engaging as the former celebrity, managing to be both self centred and annoying.

Tom Chambers and Susie Blake in Murder in the Dark
© Pamela Raith

How to watch Murder in the Dark

Original Online members can access the show via premiere access now, before it goes on general release on Friday 24 May 2024. It will appeal to fans of thrillers, and would be a fantastic option to rent for a night in with friends. The brilliance of the platform is that you can either subscribe on a monthly basis or wait until general release and purchase 48 hour access. I personally want to watch it again to look at the plot with finer detail and locate all of the clues I missed.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

Love Kat xxxx

*I was given press access to Murder in the Dark in exchange for an unbiased review.



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