Fringe Review : Three by Poe

Three stories by Edgar Allan Poe…

  1. The Cask of Amontillado
  2. The Tell-Tale Heart
  3. Hop-Frog

As soon as the lights come up a man standing centre stage in a costume and start to recount the conversation he had with a friend, with hind-sight it turns out this character is “Montresor” from “The Cask of Amontillado“. I must admit that although I have read “The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe” it was quite a few years ago and I did not recognise this story. The story is basically about how one character convinces an inebriated “friend” to accompany him into the “catacombs” to taste what is possible a rare sherry and ends up bricking him up in the catacombs! The actor played the on going conversation rather well and the story proceeded to it’s inevitable conclusion and then the lights died.

When the light came up, the actor had changed costume and had changed character to unnamed narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” and recites the story of how he murdered the old man he lives with and concludes with his confession to police officers when he can no longer stand the sound of the beating heart below the floor boards where he hid the dismembered body, at which point the theatre lights again died.

The third and final tale is told by Edgar Allan Poe himself  and is the story of “Hop-Frog“, a story of how a tormented court jester persuaded the king and his ministers to dress as Orangutans in chains using tar and flax and then manages to chain them up to a chandelier and set them on fire,

The show was reasonably entertaining and all three tales were well enough recited but did not really add anything except perhaps a bit more characterisation in the first two tales, through the actors voice and mannerisms. But I never really got any sense of “horror” or dread, perhaps I have just become to cynical in my old age.

In Summary : Reasonably entertaining but nothing more.


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