“…subtly spine-chilling with a sinister atmosphere”
West End Theatre Guide London
Whisper House is a ghost story written by Kyle Jarrow with a musical score by Duncan Sheik (American Psycho, Spring Awakening). It is set in a lighthouse on the East Coast of America at the height of World War II when German U-boats were active on the coastlines and lighthouses were used as a key weapon of defence.
Whisper House follows the story of young Christopher who has been sent to live with his Aunt Lily, who runs the lighthouse, with the help of Japanese immigrant, Yasuhiro. Christopher soon hears the whispering voices of the two resident ghosts who haunt the shadows of his new home, and his fear is heightened by the local Sheriff, who regales him with the tale of the unfortunate passengers who lost their lives in a shipwreck off the coast of the lighthouse.
The story powerfully depicts WWII xenophobia in a time when President Roosevelt’s 1942 executive order made it mandatory for immigrants from Japan, Italy and Germany to register with the government and declared that certain areas were to be restricted and immigrant-free. This order paved the way for the later deportation of these immigrants to camps. This xenophobic note continues through the piece, seen through the treatment of Yasuhiro, who despite proving himself to be loyal and caring, is still punished for his nationality.
Simon Bailey (Jersey Boys, I Can’t Sing, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamboat) and Niamh Perry (Exposure, Mamma Mia, The Beautiful Game) played the ominous, sinister ghosts and performed Jarrow and Sheik’s musical score brilliantly. Simon Lipkin (Guys and Dolls, Miss Atomic Bomb, I Can’t Sing) gave a menacing performance as the xenophobic and dutiful sheriff.
The musical score is excellent, with ‘The Tale of Solomon Snell’ being a standout number. Lipkin, Bailey and Perry’s performance of this number was spectacular and haunting. The recurring song ‘Better To Be Dead’ is also memorable and very fitting.
Whisper House is subtly spine-chilling with a sinister atmosphere that thrills as the darkest secrets surrounding the lighthouse reveal themselves.