A haunting thriller, staged by talking Scarlet Productions.

Photos taken by Philip Stewart at the Devonshire Park Theatre.

 Set design by RACHEL DINGLE 


ANITA GRAHAM (Mrs O'Brien); POLLY SMITH (Elizabeth)

Quote by Sebastian BornAssociate Director (Literary), The Royal National Theatre

"You have written a successful genre play – classic gothic / ghost story – which is a very difficult thing to pull off in a contemporary context." 


Quote by Greg Ripley-DugganExecutive Producer, Hampstead Theatre

"[The Widow] a well put together example of the ghost/thriller genre which won’t disappoint the audience as it makes great use of the staples of this kind of play - the sinister housekeeper, the terrible family secret, ghostly figures appearing, warnings being whispered, footsteps and laughter coming from nowhere. 

You also manage to refresh the proposition by making the play very contemporary, which gives it additional resonance for a modern audience."



"The Widow is in residence.  Eastbourne’s favourite company, Talking Scarlet, brings a dark and unnerving thriller to the Devonshire Park this week. 

From the very start, the play spins its web around you. Douglas Morgan’s impeccable, atmospheric lighting plot and the haunting minor-key music draw the audience in. And, like it or not, we are as trapped as the actors – somewhere in unmapped Wales in an unnerving Gothic mansion.

Rachel Dingle’s set is brilliant: black-and-white themed, and not just neatly segmented, but with a perplexing “trompe l’oeil” feel, like those castellated never-ending staircases, as the actors move up and down.

And we keep noticing the little, puzzling details. Why is that picture hung slightly crooked?  Why is that chair set so centrally when nobody seems to sit on it?  Was that just a shadow that we fleetingly glimpsed, or a human figure?

Intelligently played by Lara Lemon, the central character Catherine arrives unsuspecting for a modelling assignment. But the obsessive, darkly scheming Elizabeth – a strong performance from Polly Smith - has far more devious plans for her."



"Lara Lemon is excellent as Catherine as is Samuel Clemens as her love interest, Joshua; while Polly Smith gives a good performance as the scheming American owner of the house. Anita Graham contributes greatly to the spookiness of the play with her scary performance as the housekeeper.

Timing is everything in a play like this and Patric Kearns has made this work, perfectly."