The House of Yes
8th to 26th October 2019
“Just what happens when you grow up in a house that only says “yes”?
Meet the Pascals. A family living in the shadow of the Kennedy clan.
Outside their Washington D.C. home a hurricane is raging. Inside, at the
eye of the storm, a series of twisted and dangerous events have been set in
motion that can only have one destination.
It’s Thanksgiving, 1983. Jackie-O is beyond excited to have her twin brother
Marty home. He’s excited too, but for different reasons. He’s bringing home
his fiancée to meet the family. Younger brother Anthony is impressed,
perhaps worryingly so, and mother Pascal is too zoned out on pills to be
paying much attention to anything. The scene is set for an evening of
twisted machinations and mind-games that will leave the players with scars
that will never ever heal.
The multi award winning Hope Theatre presents a rare revival of Wendy
MacLeod’s deliciously dark comic drama given cult status by the 90’s film
starring Parker Posey.”
Review by Matthew Campling, 5 Stars
Director Matthew Parker has mounted a visually-impressive, emotionally overwrought all-but-forgotten classic, better known for the 80s film starring Parker Posey. There’s both an intimacy director (Jess Tucker Boyd) and an accent coach (Dewi Hughes) so we can see no expense hasbeen spared. This attention to detail, and willingness to involve other creatives, is part of the reason why Matthew has made The Hope into a London Fringe sensational success story. Selecting this particular show indicates that Matthew is not prepared to coast on his reputation but adds to an already glowing CV this outstandingly bonkers and highly enjoyable slice of horror. When the audience’s enjoyment depends on their accepting an ever-unravelling thread of logic, the director has to be very, very sure of what he/she is doing. Here the director is always entirely in command and always just enough ahead of the audience to ensure that each revelation comes as a surprise and a chill.
Rachael Ryan’s set combines swathes of gold lame, empty gilded picture frames, a chaise longue and a desk which is also a lady’s vanity unit. The grand/tackiness is exactly right for the American Gothic milieu: too grand and it would overpower the tiny stage; not grand enough and it would get lost in the unfolding madness.
Lucia Sanchez Roldan is the lighting designer. From the start where the stage is swathed in shadows, to the atmospheric lightning flashes, to (my favourite) the low-lit scene changes which fascinatingly ADDED to the general creepiness, Lucia is a confident match to the director’s knowingly cuckoo vision.
Simon Arrowsmith is responsible for sound design. Again, when the passions are running high you need all the elements to whip up a storm and Simon’s sound effects, without being overpowering, are well in force.
Producer Toby Hampton also deserves praise for his role in bringing together all the necessary elements, resulting in such an outstanding production.
Jackie-O Colette Eaton
Mrs Pascal Jill King
Marty Fergus Leathem
Lesly Kaya Bucholc
THE HOUSE OF YES
by WENDY MACLEOD
The Hope Theatre
207 Upper Street
London N1 1RL
8 to 26 October 2019
Tues – Sat at 7.45pm
Tickets £15 & £12 concs
Box Office: 0333 666 3366
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