Friday, October 24, 2014

The 6th H.P. Lovecraft Festival - Creepy fun

By Byrne Harrison

It's become an annual tradition for me to attend the Radiotheatre H.P. Lovecraft Festival.  I really enjoy Lovecraft's work, and it is so perfectly suited for Radiotheatre's aesthetic.

The performance on October 9th featured two Lovecraft stories -- The Beast in the Cave and The Shadow Over Innsmouth.  The Beast in the Cave was written when Lovecraft was a teenager, and frankly, it shows.  The story hints at the writer he will become, but it's an overwrought horror trope (devolving cave-dwelling humans who prey on visitors) that has been handled better elsewhere.  However, in the hands of the Radiotheatre actors (R. Patrick Alberty, Joshua Nicholson and Frank Zilinyi) and aided by the outstanding sound and lighting of Dan Bianchi and Wes Shippee, the story is elevated into something that at least holds an audience's interest.

Radiotheatre's strengths are on full display in the second piece, Shadow Over Innsmouth.  Dark and disturbing, Shadow features much of what Lovecraft devotees want -- degeneration, family secrets, elder gods, human hybrids, demonic cults, and a host of other nasties.  With the brooding sound and lighting, the excellent vocal talents of the actors (you'll easily forget there are only three actors on stage), and outstanding direction by Dan Bianchi, this is one of those works that gets everything right.

I wish I had had time to see some of the other works in this series (The Call of Cthulhu and The Dunwich Horror, in particular), but I will have to save that for future festivals.

Photo by R. Patrick Alberty

Photo by Dan Bianchi

The 6th H.P. Lovecraft Festival
Adapted/Directed/Designed by Dan Bianchi
Sound/Lights Engineer: Wes Shippee
Cast: R. Patrick Alberty, Danielle Adams (not appearing 10/9), Joshua Nicholson, Frank Zilinyi

Visit the Radiotheatre website for more info about this company (and to hear some samples of their work) -

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