Bill Ward & Wendi Peters (credit Craig Sugden)
Bill Ward & Wendi Peters (credit Craig Sugden)

THE legend of Sleepy Hollow has had many incarnations over the years and now it’s time for this gothic stage version from Tilted Wig Productions.

Ichabod Crane, Sam Jackson, arrives to the small town of Sleepy Hollow. Visitors, by the sign, tells them ‘Don’t pass by, stay forever.’ This creates foreboding especially from the sinister set. Crane discovers the legend with its secrets of Sleepy Hollow through the approaching Hallowmass where the locals re-enact the mysterious and disturbing events. Baltus Van Tassel, Bill Ward and Widow Papenfuss, Wendi Peters, confidently show some strong characterisation providing the highlights of the acting.

The other characters played by Rose Quentin, Lewis Cope and Tommy Sim’aan show glimpses driving the script, but with the confusion of the subplot and mix of characters it makes it difficult to follow the action, only picking up the story now and then.

There are some excellent scenes through the synchronised movement of the cast and the imaginative dance. But unfortunately, it was the over complicated story of the dialogue. Due to the blocking, it also meant it was often unheard.

A chilling atmosphere was created with effective lighting and dry ice. The special effects, although impressive, just don’t create the fear factor which was lacking. The Headless Horseman makes a brief appearance lacking its full impact. As a school report may say – they show promise but must try harder.

Show runs until Saturday 20th November at Darlington Hippodrome.