Published by METRO
Thursday (19 January) until 11 February, Tuesdays-Saturdays 7.45pm (matinees Wednesday & Saturdays 2.30pm), £14.50-£29, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. Tel: 0131 248 4848. www.lyceum.org.uk
AND Tuesday 14 February - Saturday 18 February, 7.30pm, £12-£19 (Tuesday £10), Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. Tel: 0141 429 0022. www.citz.co.uk
VIDEO: The Infamous Brothers Davenport - trailer
Everyone’s really into their Victorian stuff at the moment, aren’t they? What with TV’s Sherlock, Great Expectations and The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, people have been going wild for contemporary portrayals of the 19th century – and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Well, this love affair with top hats and horse-drawn carriages is not about to end anytime soon. It’s instead taking over Edinburgh, in the form of the Royal Lyceum Theatre’s opening show of 2012.
And what a cracker it is too. Staging its world premiere this Thursday, The Infamous Brothers Davenport breathes new life into a spectacular event that last entertained audiences 150 years ago.
This theatrical treat introduces us to real-life American magicians William and Ira Davenport, who spent a decade wowing crowds in the US before taking their talents to our shores in the 1860s.
The brothers were central to the spiritualist movement, and specialised in séances that had followers convinced of their supernatural powers.
Yet the Davenports’ acclaimed showmanship was at odds with their troubled childhoods – a contrast explored in award-winning playwright Peter Arnott’s script.
This intriguing collaboration between the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company and Glasgow group Vox Motus brings the Victorian séance back to the stage in its gripping original form.
Adding to the atmosphere is a spooky musical score, performed live by Scottish composer Phamie Gow.
‘We are excited to be realising Peter Arnott’s fabulously macabre script,’ said co-director Candice Edmunds.
‘We also can’t wait for the audience to revel in the Brothers’ séance. I hope they get the same thrill out of the experience that we have had creating it!’
So what more is there to say? Let the magic unfold.