Last Orders: The Haunting of the Old Red Lion

Reviewer's Rating

Far from being a classic play, this little Halloween performance is presented in the style of a documentary. With interviews, background facts and historical anecdotes, The Knock Knock Club follows the path of pseudo-science. Which is great! The only thing to improve on this would be to have more of it. With 70 minutes running time, this is quite a short play. There would be no harm in extending it and including an interval. If all, this might give the plot more tension and allow more time on each chapter. 

While the cast shows some video material to accompany their storytelling, it mentions further material without showing it. Again, making the play longer from the start would allow more space for further elaboration. This is a good play, and time passes by quickly already – it would be an easy task for the cast to capture the audience for longer. 

The play has a pleasantly interactive side to it. The storytellers openly give a presentation, and with good eye-contact and gesticulation remind the viewer of a being in a lecture at times. This is a great way of telling the story, however, it might have been a good addition to break the main storyline up a bit with some more short horror stories. Right at the beginning, the audience arrives in a chilling night-time story to set the right atmosphere of the evening. Which was brilliantly done, but again, there could have been more of it!

Sound, lighting and staging worked in great unison to give the audience as many chills as possible. Uncomfortable sounds and pitch-black darkness are just among a few technical features that make the play a proper horror play. Already upon entering the room, the viewer is stunned by ominous red writing all over the theatre space. While the staging was impressive, it was hardly used in the play. Which is a shame, as there could be more potential to integrate it. 

Nevertheless, Reece Connolly, Christopher Keegan and Caroline Buckley put together an amazing performance that will send chills down your spine and make you question what there might be out there. 

Last Orders deserves its four stars and could have easily reached five if there had just been more of everything. However, this is definitely a must see for the Halloween season.