A terrifying tale of the demon in a bottle

Henry Ostler, Christopher Marlowe, Francesca McCrohon, Angie Lily and Peter McCrohon
Henry Ostler, Christopher Marlowe, Francesca McCrohon, Angie Lily and Peter McCrohon
Choirs from Castle Primary School and Portsmouth Grammar Junior School performed sea shanties              Picture: Ross Young

Art festival kicks off launch with shanties

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The pumpkins are carved and the sweets are ready for the trick or treaters, and New Apollo is also getting into the spirit this Halloween as the group returns for its fifth spooky season.

At The Square Tower on Saturday and Sunday, and The Cellars at Eastney on Monday and Tuesday, Portsmouth’s professional fringe theatre company will perform two horrifying plays back to back.

Adapted by Peter McCrohon for the stage, the first is The Dream Woman by Wilkie Collins.

A doctor visits a country inn and is told the strange tale of Isaac Scatchard, who is plagued by dreams of a young woman. He’s terrified she will kill him while he sleeps, but doctors think the nightmares are just mental disturbances.

This will be followed by Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story, The Bottle Imp. In the stage adaptation, a strange man appears in a run-down tavern with an unusual bottle.

He claims the imp of the bottle is at the command of whoever owns it. Wealth and fame are theirs to command, but the power goes once the imp is sold to another.

The stranger offers it to the landlord and customers at a very low price – but is it worth the risk?

Christopher Marlowe, Angie Lily, Henry Oastler, and Peter and Francesca McCrohon make up the cast in both plays.

There will also be two dinner theatre evenings on Wednesday and Thursday at The Roebuck, Wickam.

Tickets: £12 from The Cellars at Eastney on (023) 9273 6288 or go to thecellars.co.uk.