Review Roundup: WAIT UNTIL DARK by Repertory Philippines
Repertory Philippines' (Rep) 77th theater season opener, Frederick Knott's classic thriller "Wait Until Dark," will run until Sunday, February 9, at Onstage Theatre in Greenbelt 1, Makati City.
Manila, Philippines, January 28, 2014--Approaching its third weekend at Onstage Theatre, Rep's staging of the 2003 London revival version of Frederick Knott's 1966 classic thriller, "Wait Until Dark," which was originally set in Greenwich Village, New York (The London revival was set in Notting Hill), has been reaping generally favorable reviews.
Below, BroadwayWorld.com has culled excerpts from some of these reviews.
"Wait Until Dark" is one of the few plays penned by English playwright-screenwriter Frederick Knott, best known for his 1952 television play, "Dial M for Murder." "Wait Until Dark's" 1967 film adaptation starred silver screen icon Audrey Hepburn, who was nominated Best Actress at the Academy Awards for her performance in the film.
In both stage and film versions, Knott, who was fond of creating female characters that fall victims to sinister plots, fleshes out the character of Susy Henderson (originally Susy Hendrix), the newly blind wife of traveling photographer Sam Henderson (originally Sam Hendrix), who has brought home a doll, which apparently contains several grams of heroin.
In Rep's production of "Wait Until Dark," Liesl Batucan, a Rep mainstay, plays the visually impaired protagonist. Directed by Miguel Faustmann, Batucan is joined by fellow Rep actors Joel Trinidad (Mike Talman), Robbie Guevara (Sgt. Carlino), Arnel Carrion (Harry Roat, Jr.),Lorenz Martinez (Susy's husband, Sam), and Dani Gana (Gloria).
The production's creative and production teams include Baby Barredo (artistic director), Jethro Joaquin (sound and music design), Faustmann (set design), John Batalla (lighting design), Gidget Tolentino (production management), Gold Soon (stage management), Pol Roxas (sound technician), Pablito Salvador (lighting technician), and Adul Lasin (set execution and scenic artist).
Walter Ang, Philippine Daily Inquirer: Helmed by Faustmann, the ensemble is tight and surpasses the occasionally uneven script, such as Knott allowing Susy to notice certain sounds but completely miss others (reinforced with Faustmann making Susy sometimes face who she's talking to, assuming she can hear the direction where the voice is coming from, and sometimes facing at a tangent.)
Witnessing Susy piecing the puzzle together and turning the tables on these gents makes for a fun show. Faustmann moves things along as briskly as he can and maintains the tension, even if Knott keeps on punctuating it with scene breaks.
Originally cast to play Susy's husband, Arnel Carrion stepped in to replace Jaime Wilson, who broke a kneecap in rehearsals, as the master plotter. His towering height and wide build have a menacing quality, but perhaps because he'd only had six days to learn the role, the character's oiliness isn't quite sinister yet and comes across as a bit cartoonish (on opening night, at least) instead of chilling.