Adapted by Jeremy Dyson, directed by Polly Findlay
Running until Saturday 23rd April
There are elements of humour in all of the tales, often blended with moments of high tension and/or unease. The first, ‘The Landlady’, with its dirty-looking, dishevelled eponymous B&B owner who has a fondness for taxidermy, is light-hearted but also extremely dark. Indeed, it is highly reminiscent of The League of Gentlemen (1999-2002), which Dyson co-created alongside Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. ‘Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat’, about a woman having an affair behind her husband's back, is the weakest of the stories with no real horror in a scenario which most members of the audience will have figured out from the beginning. In contrast, ‘Man from the South’ was possibly my favourite, partly due to the eccentric and over-the-top character of Mr. Palacios, played by Nick Fletcher, but also because of the manner in which tension is built up, the director, Polly Findlay, carefully managing audience expectations to construct a heart-in-mouth moment which never materialises. ‘William and Mary’ is constructed around an unexpected science fictional idea: a Philosophy professor dying of cancer is tempted to continue his existence as a brain in a jar. The set design and mood evoked the classic American B-movies of the mid-twentieth century, whilst the dark humour of the previous stories was certainly present and correct. The final short story, ‘Galloping Foxley’, contains more of the wonderful tension building seen in ‘Man from the South’; however, it is also the most uncomfortable story to watch. Detailing the terrors inflicted on a young boy by a senior pupil at a boarding school, there are no laughs to be had in this story, a sinister and suitably twisted tale that, unfortunately, was the most feasible of all.
Glyn Morgan is one of the co-founders of Twisted Tales. He is currently studying for his Ph.D at the University of Liverpool, his thesis looks at non-mimetic fictions of the Second World War. He maintains a blog about his studies (all to infrequently updated) here, as well as runs a popular Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club, and a Graphic Novel Reading Group.