Review: A Kind of Conjuration, The Cellars, Eastney

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There’s something special about seeing a production on a tiny stage, and The Cellars was a new venue for me.

It tells the true story of Scottish medium Helen Duncan who was arrested and charged right here in Portsmouth in 1944 under the ancient witchcraft act of 1735.

Local writers Stuart Olesker and John Standon have created a play that’s hauntingly good, under some solid direction from Steve Pitt.

The cast have really worked hard on this production, encompassing many elements of the story with all doubling up on parts.

Christopher Marlowe is charismatic as journalist Dan, with Henry Oastler (Ted) bringing humour to the proceedings. Angie Lily is a triumph and plays no less than five different roles. It certainly left food for thought as to whether mediums are genuine or just very clever tricksters.

This production is a little gem not to be missed and will also appear at The Square Tower on June 25 as part of Portsmouth Festivities.