Review: The Other Side at 53Two is “tense, chilling and courageous”

The Other Side’ follows a newly engaged couple as they navigate grief, loss, fear and their future while dealing with a house they didn’t want, the secrets they hold and the ghosts of their past

Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful things that you can endure; changing address, redirecting bills, moving furniture, decorating- the list is endless.

For Benjamin and Claire, their experience is a whole different kind of stressful- the haunted kind.

Benjamin (played by Andrew Long) and Claire (played by Ntombizodwa Ndlovu) are a newly engaged couple in 1979; they’re happy, in love, and ready for their future together, however, when Claire’s mother unexpectedly passes away, the pair are thrown into the whirlwind that is her mother’s house.

Now, they must face run-down rooms, leaking landings, peeling paper, damp drywall, intruding ivy, and the worst of it all: a sinister darkness lurking in the cobwebbed corners.

When Claire begins to worry that there may be a presence trying to tell her something, the thought weighs on her, revealing repressed memories and guilt in both her and Benjamin’s lives, and forces them to face ghosts that they’d rather keep hidden.

Gráinne Flynn plays her role flawlessly, ensuring to bring a cold, mysterious, and unforgiving air to the stage as she torments the young couple in their new ‘home’, whilst Ntombizodwa and Benjamin’s performances bleed emotion into the audience- it’s almost as if you’re going through it with them!

Elli Kypriadis’s set design brings life to the death that lurks in the shadows, inviting you in for a warm cup of tea one minute, and forcing you to cower in the corner the next, and Mims Jeddal’s lighting design not only nurtures the incredibly tense moments, but serves the transition between memories and the present with flair.

Gabriel Clark and Andrew Long bring this chilling, and all too real portrayal of a house haunted by more than ghouls; reminding us that ghosts aren’t always apparitions of the dead, wishing to be remembered, but, instead, they can be thoughts, feelings, and memories that we’ve tried to bury.

Above all, The Other Side takes courage as it questions the unknown, and the uncertainty of the future: ‘You can’t disprove the unknown’.

The Other Side is at 53two until 4th November, and you can book your tickets here.

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