The Turn of the Screw is Jeffrey Hatcher’s creepy and clever adaptation of Henry James’ horrifying classic that weaves a tale using only two actors, yet with multiple characters, minimal costuming, and no props. The Visceral Company specializes in productions with dark themes and this proved to be an interesting pick of a one act production that runs about 80 minutes without intermission.
Director Dan Spurgeon and actors Nich Kauffman and Amelia Gotham pull it all off remarkably well as they raise the tension. Kauffman portrays several characters both male and female of varied ages and even needs to demonstrate piano skills to nail the role. Both actors are strong in their diction and delivery, flowing well together, and the script is well timed including some rapid fire exchanges and spot on lighting changes.
The plot revolves around a young woman who moves to a desolate English manor house to care for a boy and a girl who are recent orphans. As the new governess settles in, she learns of the tragic deaths of her predecessor and the estate’s wicked valet. Ghostly apparitions of these two scare her and give her fears for the children. The question: Are these visions real or stemming from her imagination?
The Turn of the Screw is playing at the Underground Theatre located at 1312 N. Wilton in Hollywood. There is free street parking. The production stages Thursdays through Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. through June 9. Admission is $15 on Thursdays and $20 on Fridays and Saturdays. It contains adult themes and is not suggested for young children. For advance tickets and other information, visit www.thevisceralcompany.com.