New spine-chilling ghost story When Darkness Falls finally gets its premiere this month at London’s Park Theatre, where it will run for a limited season from tomorrow 18 August to 4 September 2021, with a press night on 23 August, ahead of an autumn tour.
The play, written by James Milton and Paul Morrissey and directed by Morrissey, was originally due to open last November at the Union Theatre, but its run was canceled by the Government’s decision to close theatres in the second lockdown. Time to get booking!
On the small island of Guernsey, local history teacher, John Blondel, runs the Island’s only Historical Society. Tonight, as part of the Society’s weekly vlog, a young writer who has been researching the island’s mysterious and often frightening folklore, has been invited to give a talk. As his seemingly innocent stories unfold – many of which are based on true events – it isn’t long before they reveal dark pasts, disturbing truths and unforgettable terrors.
Will Barton, returning to the Park Theatre where he won acclaim in the title role of The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, stars as John Blondel opposite Alex Phelps as The Speaker.
The show’s illusions are designed by John Bulleid, an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle with Silver Star, whose other theatre credits include Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane and The Prince of Egypt. Design is by Justin Williams, with lighting by Bethany Gupwell and sound by Daniel Higgott.
Director and co-writer Paul Morrissey says:
“In many ways, maybe we’re all haunted. By the past. By regret. By shame. By things that have embedded themselves deep within us. A kind of trauma, that we relive. As we ‘see’ these events unfold, again and again, it’s quite clear that ghosts are very real. When Darkness Falls is a spine-chilling new play about the power of stories. Perhaps most importantly, the ones we tell ourselves.”
The producers added: “This has been a turbulent time for theatre, but on behalf of our cast, creative team and co-producers, we are proud to be returning with a brand-new thriller to what is arguably one of the most exciting venues in London, and some terrific touring venues too. We look forward to welcoming everyone into the safety and comfort of Park Theatre. If, that is, ‘on the edge of your seat’ can be considered comfortable!”
When Darkness Falls is produced at Park Theatre by Paul Morrissey Limited, Chris Wheeler and Molly Morris, in association with Glynis Henderson Productions, Jason Haigh-Ellery, Dawn Smalberg and Bev Ragovoy and Park Theatre. Following London, the production tours to Theatre Royal Winchester (16-18 September), Southampton’s MAST Mayflower Studios (20-25 September) and Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre (28-30 September).
Will Barton’s most recent theatre includes the title role in The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson (Park Theatre & National Tour), The Libertine (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and Toast (Park Theatre and New York). He also played Boris Johnson in the 2017 BBC 2 drama Theresa V Boris. Other television includes A Confession, Vanity Fair and two series of How Do You Want Me?.
Alex Phelps’ theatre work includes Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night and Reynaldo/Priest and understudy Hamlet in Hamlet (both Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre), Raleigh in Journey’s End for Mesh Theatre Company, and Dennis Dutton in The Vertical Hour, Bob Acres in The Rivals and Orestes in Elektra (all at Theatre By The Lake).
Paul Morrissey and producing partner James Milton were awarded The Stage One Bursary for New Producers in 2004. Together, they produced a number of UK and International theatre productions including Cats, Chess the Musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The West End Men, which toured China, Europe and the UK before playing a six-week season at the Vaudeville Theatre, London. As a solo producer, Paul’s shows have included Saturday Night Fever, South Pacific, Les Misérables in Concert, The Phantom of the Opera in Concert and the European premiere of the Broadway musical Brooklyn. When Darkness Falls is James Milton’s first full-length play. Paul Morrissey’s other writing includes the play Bingo! and the new musical Toys.