Nathan Lucky Wood
Reality Rating: 2/5
Fidget Factor: 0.5
Be who ever we want to be, change our identity and be masked behind the avatar we have created. The allusive internet, somewhere to hide or be seen. What if our secret space was exposed? If a ghost got into our online thoughts and feelings and shared it with the world? The threat is haunting.
Mark (James Thackery) is left at home alone to entertain himself whilst his mum is distracted with work and her male colleagues. What starts as a few harmless online games cultivates into a twisted relationship with a virtual friend he’s never met, ‘Ghost’. Ignoring the real world, Mark becomes infatuated with his broadband buddy and dismisses his friends and family. After sharing sexual dreams of school girls in uniforms, A Haunting takes an unconventional turn as Ghost wants to meet Mark, and not for the reasons we suspect. Predator or friend?
The yellow glow from the Apple Mac illuminates Mark’s face through the darkness. Head set on, gaze fixated on the screen. We become voyeurs into a young boys personal life as he engages a stranger on forbidden subjects. The voice over from Ghost (Jake Curran) makes it difficult to suspend our disbelief, the aim to create the voice on the other end of the headset feels overly forced. Heavily scripted and unnatural, it’s not believable that the Ghost has developed a relationship with Mark this way. Once Ghost reveals himself, this creepy character starts to take shape, his obscure mannerisms matching his peculiar mind set.
Beatrice Curnew’s character, Anna, provides a high-spirited comical aspect to an otherwise heavily dark piece. Directed by Jennifer Davis, the character conveyed is slightly unhinged. Anna finally leaves a voicemail for her son after several attempts – her uncontrollable need to rant and rave keeps causing her to press 5 and rerecord. The image of Anna swigging back the wine, and enjoying a night out whilst her husband is away makes a significant contrast to the concerned mother she evolves into when disturbing video clips are found on her sons computer.
Nathan Lucky Wood’s writing is like a thriller, we are put on edge as there an no obvious intentions of why Ghost is putting Mark and his family through hell. It’s an interesting choice to make this abusive relationship between a young boy and older man, rather than the conventional roles usually highlighted with online profiles. Even though the components for a powerful play are displayed, this script didn’t keep me enthralled and often made me question the motivation behind scenes.
Part of King Head’s Festival 46, A Haunting has been produced through a resident trainee director’s scheme. Pop along to the King’s Head to start seeing the director’s of our future.
Click for Tix: @Kings Head
Time: 60 Minutes
Running: 18 JUL 16 ► 28 Jul 16
♥ Thank you to Ellen Buckley for the invite