The Raven

Aug 11 2015 | By More

✭✭✭✭✭   Perfect madness

TheSpace on the Mile (venue 39): Mon 10 – Sat 22 Aug 2015

Searching for perfection, the Bawsoot Theatre Company gets pretty close in its cleverly crafted production of The Raven.

Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s poem of the same name, The Raven explores the subconscious of The Man as his pursuit of perfection drives him to madness. The result is a gripping psychological thriller that is both modern and relevant, yet still remains true to Poe’s vision. In fact, the concepts are so well married together, it might just be genius.

The Cast of the Raven Photo: FilmMe This

The cast of The Raven. Photo: FilmMe This

Written by Jack Gemmell and Emilie Robson, The Raven entwines reflections of a photographer and the throw-away nature of modern day photography, childhood trauma – its manifestation into mental illness, and the consequences of obsession. The modern narrative is interspersed with the musical flow of the poem to create its haunting effect.

Laila Noble’s direction and Laura Grace Caldwell’s design accentuates The Man’s inner darkness. Set in reddened darkroom, the supernatural element of Poe’s vision shines through. Periods of white lucidity are peppered throughout the eerie red light, setting stark contrasts between what the world sees and what The Man sees. And it’s terrifying.

Jack Gemmell plays The Man with a ferocious intensity, ranging from awkward and confused, to hostile and malicious. His descent is gradual, but in its way also rapid and inevitable. His eyes display an embodiment of the character in an entirely believable performance.

torments  and cajoles

Kirstin Rennie and Emilie Robson are both normal, confused and in parts frightened models, and at the same time manifestations of The Man’s psyche. Their interchanges between roles are flawless, which only serves to further contribute to The Man’s confusion.

Enter The Raven. Hannah Cumming plays the bird with an eerie grace as she torments  and cajoles The Man. Her movements are sinister and precise, bird personified, as she portrays an air of haughty superiority over him constantly repeating her only line, nevermore.

The Raven is a beautiful and inventive mix of poetry and prose, of physical theatre and song, of darkness and light. The energy captured within the piece is electric. It leaves an overwhelming feeling of eerie awkwardness that is both unnerving and strangely welcome. This really is a first class production, produced and performed by graduates of Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University.

Running time: 50 minutes
TheSpace on the Mile (venue 39), 80 High Street, EH1 1TH
Monday 10 – Saturday 22 August 2015
Daily, 7.20pm.
Book tickets on the EdFringe website:
Bawsoot Theatre Company website:


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