It has been announced that Janie Dee has had to withdraw from Original Theatre Company’s production based on M.R. James’s short ghost story.

Tamzin Outhwaite is set to star as the titular character in this supernatural thriller by Philip Franks, adapted for the first time from the M.R. James chilling short ghost story, The Experiment.

This new production is the latest from the Original Theatre Company’s digital offerings, following on from productions of Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong Online, Louise Coulthard’s Watching Rosie and the new commission by Torben Betts, Apollo 13: The Dark Side of The Moon.

The Haunting of Alice Bowles s the company’s fourth original online production since theatres were closed by the Government in March this year. It will be available to watch online from the 17th December 2020 until 28th February 2021. 

As well as Tamzin Outhwaite, the production is set to star: Max Bowden (EastEndersWaterloo RoadBirdsong) as Matt, Stephen Boxer (The CrownHumansGarrow’s Law, countless productions for the RSC and National Theatre) as Dr Hall, Jack Archer (MonogamyQuaint HonourNivelli’s War) as Joseph, Alexandra Guelff (Witness for the ProsecutionThe Habit of Art) as Caitlin, Robert Mountford (Holby CityNorth SquareThe Habit of Art) as the Lawyer, Poppy Roe (A Serial Killer’s Guide to LifeRoyal Matchmaker) as Mrs Ivey and Tim Treloar (BirdsongKing Lear) as the Boatman.

In 1918, the recently widowed Alice Bowles is left destitute as she seeks to solve a mystery left by her late husband Francis.  Moving to 2020, YouTube urban explorers Matt and Caitlin uncover a mysterious grave in an abandoned churchyard.  What starts as harmless entertainment soon turns darker when their discovery begins to unwrap a mystery which has lain dormant for over a century.  

Talking about the adaptation, Philip Franks said: “I’ve loved M. R. James ever since I was terrified by ‘Whistle and I’ll Come To You’ on the BBC in 1968.  A series of brilliantly subtle and scary adaptations of his ghost stories were a highlight of Christmas viewing for many years.  Now it’s my turn.  I’ve taken a very short story of his – as far as I know never dramatised before – and given it a modern twist for our troubled times.  I hope audiences find it pleasurably terrifying.”

The Haunting of Alice Bowles is co-directed by Philip Franks and Alastair Whatley, designed by Adrian Linford and edited by Tristan Shepherd, with sound design and original music composed by Max Pappenheim.

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