THERE are ominous rumbling sounds in the property (but it is only the drinking water pipes).
Doors open and shut of their personal accord — the wind, absolutely?
Not to point out the disembodied voice. Oh, cling on, that’s Alexa.
Except that Alexa looks to be establishing a intellect of her have, speaking when she has not been spoken to, supplying unhelpful responses to the question “Who is the gray woman?”
The gray lady is the prolonged-time — quite very long time — inhabitant of the Property on Cold Hill.
This is the title of the new play at the Mill at Sonning, tailored by Shaun McKenna from Peter James’s bestselling book of the same identify.
World wide web designer Ollie (Matt Milburn) and his solicitor wife Caro (Madeleine Knight) and their teenage daughter Jade (Hannah Boyce) have just moved into an old and isolated Sussex mansion, incorporating the stays of a monastery.
It is their “forever house”, an expression which normally takes on a sinister excess meaning as this eerie evening unfurls.
But then you would almost certainly guess early on that things are heading to go erroneous when Ollie declares he’s “the luckiest guy in the world”.
The climbing expenditures of working with the climbing moist are the the very least of the family’s anxieties.
There is the geeky Chris (Dan Buckley) and the dippy ex-hippy Annie (Debbie McGee) with their company belief in the malign spirit, the “grey lady”, which has performed for each and every past occupier of Chilly Hill Household.
In a modern spin, this “grey lady” seems to be a dab hand at tech, capable to manipulate Alexa, interfere with world-wide-web layouts and intrude on the teen daughter’s FaceTime.
It transpires that none of the preceding proprietors of Cold Hill has lived over and above their 40th birthday and, by coincidence, Ollie is likely to strike that landmark in a few of days. Area vicar (Harry Gostelow) wants to swerve their concerns while handyman Phil (Kevin Hand) is not able to fix the flickering lights and spectral visuals playing throughout a stage established created by Alex Marker as a whole-blown homage to Hammer horror.
Underneath director Keith Myers, the solid provide conviction to a sequence of increasingly baffling and horrifying occasions, ingeniously evoked by way of sound and mild effects by Graham Weymouth.
At just one point issues threaten to get a little bit Scooby Doo when it seems that there might be a rational rationalization for all people bumps in the evening.
Really do not stress, although, the grey girl is true.
So, much too, is the creeping unease which is instilled in the viewers by their pay a visit to to the Household on Chilly Hill.