Trying to fix their relationship, Paul and Rebecca visit a mountain top lodge, escaping the reality of their own life after Paul has had an affair with a woman named Helen. From the outset, we witness the strain between Paul and Rebecca and it’s apparent they are having difficulty communicating. The situation becomes further complicated when Helen shows up to get answers from Paul, their relationship seeming unfinished. Trying to hide Helen from Rebecca, Paul’s secrets pile up and the tension rises but these women are smarter than they seem.
Black Mountain is a tense psychological thriller, using light and sound to great effect to slowly build suspense as the plot unfolds. Summerhall’s Roundabout venue is perfectly suited to the show, and the production cleverly uses its shape and the position of the audience to keep us gripped throughout. The cast all give strong performances, collectively creating an unsettling atmosphere as we wait eagerly to see how story transpires.
There are moments of real suspense and horror and this is where the production really shines, however some moments could have been pushed even further and come to light earlier in the play to create a more thrilling plot with more twists. The audience spend a lot of time waiting for anything sinister to appear and the narrative as whole is not particularly original, although executed very well.
For a darker taste of the Fringe and an eerie piece of theatre, Black Mountain is an excellent choice.
Words: Nastassia Sutherland
Picture: Jonathan Keenan
Black Mountain, Roundabout @Summerhall, Aug 19-26 (not 20, 22, 23), times vary