Starring Olivier nominated actor and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan as John Blondel and Daniel Rainford as The Speaker, When Darkness Falls is a spine-chilling ghost story that will have you on the edge of your seat.
It comes to Oldham Coliseum as part of a national tour just in time for Halloween, from Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 October.
The scene is set on a stormy night on the tiny island of Guernsey, where a young paranormal expert joins a skeptical history teacher to record the first of a series of podcasts based on the folklore and paranormal history of the island.
As rales are regaled and the horrible past of the island is revealed, the teacher learns that we all have our own stories within us.
Ghosts that haunt us; that bring the past, present and future together in unexpected ways; ways that can threaten to unsettle everything we think we know.
Inspired by true events, this powerful new production by James Milton and Paul Morrissey draws us into dark pasts, reveals disturbing truths and explores the power of stories.
Peter Duncan said that he has drawn on his real life experience of being stranded in the English Channel to deliver a powerful performance in the play.
30 years ago, the actor and former Blue Peter presenter had been visiting the island of Sark – nestled between Guernsey and Jersey – when he hitched a ride back to Portsmouth on a boat with three or four others and they broke down.
He said: “It was the middle of the night and we were floating in the English Channel, with no light, no power, and big steamers going past.
“We did a lot of shouting and I remember looking at the guy driving the boat and seeing the panic in his eyes.”
Duncan and his shipmates waited out the long, dark night, before eventually waving down another boat, which sent word they needed help.
He finally made it safely to shore, but the fear he felt that night is fresh in his mind as he prepares to take on this new role.
He continued: “What I experienced wasn’t psychic or paranormal, but the script resonated when I read it as I had had this experience, and When Darkness Falls has a story about a sea trip with some strange goings on.”
Duncan said he quickly became ‘hooked’ on the script and was ‘intrigued on several levels’ about the plot.
The play has already had a run at London’s Park Theatre, with one review describing the tension as “overwhelming” leaving audiences “cowering every time the lights get low.”
The former Blue Peter Host is no stranger to the stage, having appeared in musical Million Dollar Quartet before the Covid-19 Pandemic struck.
He said he was relishing the opportunity to get back on the stage.
“For me, a huge part of the fun is the audience reaction. People go in cynically, thinking they won’t be scared, but then you catch them out and you do scare them and that’ s the trick of it.”
For his own part, he absolutely believes in the paranormal. “I am not sure I believe people who say they don’t believe in ghosts.
“When people ask ‘Do you believe in ghosts?’ they usually mean have you seen something and was it a ghost?
“But that seems such a basic question, really. I have had enough experiences to think that I don’t know everything that is going on, and some of them are profound, like dreams and how they influence what you do and what might happen in the future.”
Daniel Rainford recently completed a UK tour of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, in which he played the lead role, Tommo – a role he also played in its original run at the Nottingham Playhouse. His other stage credits include Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia at London’s Almeida Theatre.
His screen credits include this year’s The Batman starring Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz.
There will also be a post show event with the UNEXPLAINED podcast crew on Thursday October 27th.
With over 50m downloads UNEXPLAINED is brought to you by Richard MacLean Smith, exploring haunting and unsettling real-life events that continue to evade explanation.
Mixing spoken word narrative, history and ideas, often to frightening effect, UNEXPLAINED explores the space between what we think of as real and what is not; where sometimes belief can be as concrete as reality, whatever that is…
From supposed hauntings and poltergeists, the occult and timeslips to apparent episodes of extra-sensory perception and the existence of inter-dimensional entities, you can find it all on UNEXPLAINED.
The show’s illusions are designed by John Bulleid, an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle with Silver Star, whose other theatre credits include The Ocean At The End Of The Lane (The National Theatre – associate to Jamie Harrison), Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Palace Theatre, London – current Magic & Illusion assistant) and The Prince of Egypt (Dominion Theatre, London – associate to Chris Fisher).
If you’d like to see this incredible production please click here https://bit.ly/3ROHRDc
You can get 20% off tickets (T&Cs apply– 20% off full price or concession tickets, bookable on the website, by phone on 0161 624 2829 or at Box Office) use code ILoveMCR.