Eldritch Theatre has a spooky new work Two Weird Tales which opened Wednesday night at the Red Sandcastle theatre. Adapted and performed by Eric Woolfe, Two Weird Tales uses several story-telling methods to recount the tales of Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” and Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness.” If you’re a horror fan, this is definitely the venue (even the bathroom is spooky!) and show for you!
Eric Woolfe certainly demonstrates the breadth of his talents with these productions. The combination of text, puppetry, magic, and tech was very impressive. I really enjoyed that “At the Mountains of Madness” was direct address; it gave the story itself this interesting frame narrative wherein Woolfe could work in all of the different story-telling methods he desired. The puppets for both stories were beautifully made, and I loved how many different styles of puppets were used to tell the stories! The three lodgers in “Metamorphosis” were so funny; not only in how Woolfe did their voices, but also how they were able to wobble and move made for great comic relief. In “At the Mountains of Madness” I really enjoyed the smaller puppets which are used against the beautiful painted backgrounds; the whole aesthetic is really beautiful and allows us to really get involved with the story. The magic tricks during “At the Mountains of Madness” had a unique way of fitting in with the story, as the narrator is trying to show us the gravity and strangeness of what they found there. The slight-of-hand tricks were just mind-boggling, especially since we were able to see them from such a close angle and then so large on the screen.
I also enjoyed the notes on the program about how the two stories are reminiscent of the experiences we have faced during the pandemic: one story about being stuck inside and another about the terrors of travel. “Metamorphosis” especially shows us the unfortunate results of isolation and the lack of communication that can come with that. It was an interesting lens to view the stories through, as they are truly collective experiences. Considering how much digital art we consumed during our time away from live performance, I’m so grateful to the people who were still thinking about and preparing for when we could come together again. It has also been a great joy for me to discover new companies and spaces like I did with Eldritch Theatre and the Red Sandcastle Theatre!
Two Weird Tales is a fun, freaky, fascinating night out at the theatre! With an intimate space and creative story-telling methods, it’s a truly unique experience! Two Weird Tales runs at the Red Sandcastle theatre until June 5. You can get tickets online at Tickets – Eldritch Theatre