Is the Sonorous Road Theatre & Film Studio’s House of the Fury: An Immersive, Interactive Theatrical Experience scary? Not very. That is our assessment of the 45 minutes that the trek through this house of horror performance takes.
The advertising for this show hypes an experience so severe it even includes requiring the audience members to sign a waiver if they should be done psychological trauma from it. It is referred to as interactive theater; and yet we are forewarned that audience members may not speak, nor touch the performers; and if they remove the mask required by management they will be escorted from the performance area.
Only adults are admitted, and yet most 10-year-olds would likely have giggled at the entertainment. And when the actors got right up into our faces, they looked more frightened than frightening.
Sonorous Road associate managing director Beau Clark’s notes exclaim that this show “was devised to bring non-theatergoers into the space to show them what the Triangle [theater] community has to offer.” This sounds like a commendable, but unnecessary ambition, since few of the theaters in the Triangle community are hurting badly for audiences, as observed by these reviewers.
On the positive side, obviously a lot of thought and effort went to the raising of this show. The “set” is a sort of maze, in which observers are directed to pass through various doors and curtains into rooms. These spaces are laid out as scenes in adorned cubby holes and other oddly shaped areas in which are told parts of the gruesome story.
The intricate worm hole was designed by Sonorous Road producer Michelle Wells and Ami Kirk Jones, and it is well appointed with props and paraphernalia intended to run chills up our spine and to arouse our curiosity.
Blood and gore by Marti Walters decorate the sets and the characters, with eerie lighting by Anthony Buckner. A crew of five make-up techs keep the actors freshly creepy.
Since simultaneously there are four or five parts of the show going on at once, film producer Chris Santucci adroitly operates various projections at a time.
Twenty-one actors take on roles that tell the story of a town where a murder has taken place, by moving the audience along the labyrinth to discover the elements of the tale.
While a Halloween haunted house can be fun, high caliber productions may be a better way to entice and build audiences. We look forward to Sonorous Road Theatre & Film Studio realizing their ambition by putting up shows that meet the exacting standards set by the other area theaters.
SECOND OPINION: Oct. 28th Raleigh, NC Triangle Review review by Pamela Vesper: http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2017/10/house-of-the-fury-is-an-up-close-and-personal-foray-into-dark-edgy-themes-and-characters/.
The Sonorous Road Theatre & Film Studio presents HOUSE OF THE FURY: An Immersive, Interactive Theatrical Experience at 7:55, 8:05, 8:15, 8:25, 8:35, 8:45, 8:55, 9:05, 9:15, 9:35, 9:45, 9:55, 10:05, 10:15, and 10:25 p.m. Oct. 27-31 in the The Royal Bakery Building at 3801 Hillsborough St., Suite 113, Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.
BOX OFFICE (scroll down): https://www.sonorousroad.com/fury/.
INFORMATION: 919-803-3798 or firstname.lastname@example.org. SHOW: https://www.sonorousroad.com/fury/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/808347956016830/.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://vimeo.com/237332572.
PRESENTER/VENUE: https://www.sonorousroad.com/, https://www.facebook.com/sonorousroad/, and https://twitter.com/sonorousroad.
Martha Keravuori is a life-long theater artist — an actress, director, and stage manager — in North Carolina, around the country, and overseas. She has a theater degree from UNC-Greensboro, and has been active in the arts in Raleigh for the past 40 years. Martha is the retired executive director of the North Carolina Theatre Conference. Chuck Galle returned to Raleigh last year after a 17-year absence. He was active in community theater for many years, and directed the troupe of maximum-security inmates at Raleigh’s Central Prison known as the Central Prison Players. In New England, he performed on stage, on TV, and in films. He is the author of Stories I Never Told My Daughter — An Odyssey, which can be ordered on Amazon.com. Chuck Galle and Martha Keravuori previously reviewed theater for Boom! Magazine of Cary. Click here to read more of their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.