Review: “A Spooky, Chilly Night With Edgar”

Theatre Department treats community to entertaining Poe adaptations


Courtesy of Rebecca Cunningham, mother of Allison Cunningham, senior Summer Hamzeh and Allison Cunningham performing “The Fall of the House of Usher”

Bryten Jones, Reporter

On a chilly night in the garden, the Venice High Theatre Department hosted The Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe by Eric Coble on October 6 and October 8.

Being out in the garden definitely added to the spooky atmosphere of the acts. With that said, I think the scary theme
was immaculate considering Halloween was coming up.

Being surrounded by trees and nature caused it to never have a dull moment. The wind got the memo too, which added tension and energy.
The play was based on four short stories by Edgar Allan Poe. It included “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

“The Raven” was about going mad over the loss of someone important to you. The actors showed amazing passion. They took their job seriously, and an actor that stuck out to me was sophomore Willow Coder. She made it look so natural.

“The Fall of the House of Usher” showed two childhood friends reunite. The set showed a sinister old house. The dialogue and story was easy to understand and fun to watch.
The house was full of happy memories that were hunting Edgar. Edgar, played by sophomore Jose Garcia, did a good job acting.

Edgar knew the end was coming and the house would go down with him soon. He was the last of the family, unless you count his “dead” sister.

The house seemed to be haunted by the sister, and it was eating Edgar alive. He was going mad and his childhood friend had to deal with it.

The next story was “The Pit and the Pendulum,” which personally was my favorite.

The ending really made my heart race towards the end. It showed a person trapped trying to escape a pit.

As they were attempting to get out, there was a pendulum slowly closing in on death’s door.
The suspense as the pendulum was nearing made the story one of the best. Senior Summer Hamzeh showed amazing facial expressions.
The main character eventually got creative and used their resources to escape, which led to an overall happy ending.

The last act was “The Tell- Tale Heart.” This was another show full of suspense, featuring an old man with a creepy eye who was driving a maid insane.

It eventually led to the maid killing the old man. He did it fast but when the neighbors heard the sound of screaming late at night they called the cops.

Before the police arrived the body was hidden in a carefully thought out place. The maid knew that no one would find it.

When the police showed up he stayed calm. He offered tea and engaged in conversion.

A loud ticking started in the maids head, he handled it at first but soon enough he gave in.
He confessed to the police showing where the body was. Someone that stuck out to me during this act of the old man, sophomore Sierra Rose Gibson, who made the act funny.

Overall, the play was a great experience. I can tell the theater program put a lot of work into this.

What I took away from this play was a bigger message related to pain, fear and love. They all are normal things that humans experience at one point in their life.

Still it’s scary to think about such big things like death and the fear of death.