Tense play is more spooky than scary

The Small Hand, 
Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

Being a devotee of Susan Hill’s Woman in Black – which I have seen umpteen times and it still scares me – I was really looking forward to The Small Hand.

It has a terrific pedigree as it is adapted for the stage by Clive Francis and directed by Roy Marsden and they have both done a great job.

This is more spooky than scary and the special effects add to the tension, but it is the brilliant acting that makes this play such a wonderful evening in the theatre.

It is a tour de force for the three actors involved. Andrew Lancel, best known as the evil Frank Foster in Coronation Street, is never off stage and shows what a good actor he is as he finds himself drawn into various situations by a small hand dragging him along.

Robert Duncan as Narrator 1 finds himself playing various roles of varying ages, which he carries off brilliantly, one minute he is an aged Scottish Lord, the next a young police inspector and Diane Keen is equally good in her varying roles as Narrator 2.

This is a really good evening’s entertainment, which will keep you riveted in your seat until the end.