The House of Usher, Hope Theatre, London ★★★

Reviewed for Musical Theatre Review:

A tale by Edgar Allan Poe, the American Romanticist, is a great choice to open the Hope Theatre’s Gothic season.

The Fall of the House of Usher is one of his many short stories that helped to define what we have come to think of as literary horror, and itself includes references to musicality, performance and poetry that provide some convenient hooks in which to insert live performance.

But what also defines Poe’s tale is his characteristically dense, descriptive prose style, and hardly any dialogue.

As such, Richard Lounds’ unnamed Narrator has to carry much of the storytelling, relying on Poe’s words to paint the image of the House within the confines of a Fringe theatre.

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