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A Monster Calls: mystifying amalgam of audio and acrobatic elements

This article was commissioned by The Upcoming, where it appeared for the first time.
The narrative of Patrick Ness’s novel plunges into the dark and truthful corridors of nightmares and visions. Sally Cookson intriguingly concocts an amalgam of audio and acrobatic elements to conjure a world in between fantasy and reality. Although this reviewer believes the effect would have enveloped the audience in a rather different way if experienced live – with all the lights going down and the loud thumps and clicks – the digital performance is striking too, and thanks to privileged close-ups shots of the cast, remains dramatic and powerful.

Conor (Matthew Tennyson) is tormented at night by the same scary dreams, until one day, at 12:07, a monster – the yew tree (Stuart Goodwin) standing next to their house – pays him a visit. He makes a deal: the ancient creature will tell three tales on three different nights, and in return, Conor will have to tell his own true story. During the day, the youn…

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