Company: Aerial Angels, Cape Town, South Africa
Genre: Storytelling / Spoken Word
Venue: 6 - Tom Hendry Theatre at the MTC Warehouse
"Tales From the Twilight" provides an entertaining, stories around the campfire feel.
Erik de Waal has earned a loyal following at the Kids Fringe for very good reason - he's a captivating storyteller, and able to draw his audience in with no more than his voice and subtle, near hypnotic, gesture.
Here, he turns those talents to more spooky, and grown-up, fare - and the results are mixed.
The South African storyteller begins with a rendition of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." While he seizes the audience with its frenzied climax, I'm not convinced the slow-burning, 20-minute long tale is the best starting point.
That's because de Waal is at his very best with the short, personal anecdotes he relates in between stories, about the "haunted" house he grew up in, and the one he lives in now. Here, his unhurried charm (this show is for the patient) and ease with an audience make a solid connection.
Following a couple of folktales, with a nice blend of comedy and creepiness, de Waal wraps with another literary classic - W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw." It provides an effectively chilling note to end the show on.
Overall, Tales From the Twilight
provides an entertaining, stories around the campfire feel. But it could use a bit less Poe and Jacobs and a bit more de Waal.