By: Katelyn Summers ~Copy Editor~
For those looking for an immersive horror experience, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s (CSC) “The Birds,” directed by Brian Isaac Phillips, offers feelings of terror and much more. Based on the short story by Daphne Du Maurier and adapted for the stage by Conor McPherson, “The Birds” has little in common with the famous horror film that shares
its name. The play focuses on three people struggling to survive in what seems to be the end of days.
The story follows Diane, played by Sherman Fracher, and Nat, played by Brent Vimtrup, as they hide out from the overwhelming bird attacks in a cabin in the woods. On a stormy, dark night, Julia, played by Sara Clark, bangs on Diane and Nat’s door and becomes one of the group.
After a few incidences, Diane begins to question Julia’s past as well as her intentions
with the pair. The show is ultimately tied together by the spectacular performances by the four actors. Fracher’s performance is both dynamic and terrifying, leaving the audience at the edge of their seats with every monologue.
Vimtrup plays the terrified Nat who is caught in two separate spider webs. From the beginning of the play, his ultimate confusion and distress is apparent and grows into deep-set insanity as the play progresses.
One of the most noteworthy performances, however, comes from Nicholas Rose who plays the crazed Tierney. Although Rose’s stage time is brief, his presentation is jarring, showing the looming loss of humanity that follows an all-out apocalypse.
CSC rarely spares any expense when it comes to the set, sound and lighting design, and this show is yet another example of the highly talented artistic team behind each show. The set is comprised of a complete home with a roof, walls and several rooms. This makes the audience feel as though they are in the room with the characters, creating a perfect suspension of belief from start to finish.
Each scene opens with Diane and Nat opening and closing the windows in accordance to the
tides, something that they soon realize determines the waves of attacks. As the lights dim, the
sounds of murderous birds flapping their wings against the walls and windows echo throughout the theater, often startling both actors and audience members. The lighting, although subtle at times, reveals more about the actors than the language, leaving the audience to question whether they can trust the characters they have grown to support.
Although Halloween has passed, there is never a bad timefor a good scare. This psychological
horror has something to offer all types of audiences. Whether you are a fan of the short story by Du Maurer or the original film, you will not want to miss this extraordinary experience.
The show run ends on Nov. 8. To purchase tickets visit cincyshakes.com/buy-tickets. Tickets
are selling quickly so any party interested should hurry to purchase tickets.