The Barebones Theatre Company stuns in their Chicago Fringe production of The Curse on Mordrake House, a supernatural horror about a Summer Walker’s (gypsy) curse on the children of Sir Mordrake, an apathetic, self-important aristocrat. All three of his children fall victim to macabre supernatural forces in five vignettes. The company’s dynamic energy and tight acting make this an exciting and unmissable theatrical experience.
Mordrake is set in 19th century rural England and playwright Dan Jackson nods to the Bard by writing in elevated iambic pentameter. Jackson’s verse is both enthralling and insightful, setting rich and complex groundwork for chilling yet truthful theatre. With no set and few props, Barebones lives up to its name, leaving the storytelling up to precise writing and complicated characters.
Raphael Schwartzman’s direction is eerie and intricate, setting each creature and demon in this twisted world apart by its physicality and speech pattern. Quinn Leary captivates as a slimy underworldly demon, while Amanda Lynn Meyer brings sincerity as a sympathetic yet aggressive bogart. The entire cast is more than applaudable in a thriller that sparks an otherworldly discussion of morality is both extraordinary and specifically human.
The Curse on Mordrake House is playing at The Gift Theatre Sept. 4 @ 10pm, Sept. 5 @ 5:30pm, and Sept. 9 @ 7pm.