The Believers – reviews of 'electrifying' stage thriller

Apr 30, 2014

Bryony Lavery's 'deliciously spooky' new drama about belief is another hit for Tricycle, say critics

Helen Maybanks

What you need to know
Bryony Lavery's new stage thriller The Believers has opened at the Tricycle Theatre, London. Scott Graham, of physical theatre troupe Frantic Assembly, directs the play by Lavery, who is best known for her Tony Award-winning work Frozen.

In The Believers a family are forced to seek refuge with their eerie evangelical neighbours during a flood. The two families share an awkward evening until a shocking event forces them to confront what they truly believe. Runs until 24 May.

What the critics like
"This is, surely, British theatre's most electrifying spine-chiller since The Woman in Black," says Kate Bassett in The Times. Staged with breathtaking visuals, this acutely disturbing production is another hit for the Tricycle.

This "deliciously spooky" show is a starkly ethereal theatrical chiller, says Fiona Mountford in the Evening Standard. The stylish and cryptic sound and lighting effects enhance the arresting set and the startling non-verbal sequences created by director/choreographer Graham.

Lavery's "brilliant new drama" is extremely economical and taut as a nerve-string, says Aleks Sierz on The Arts Desk. This is truly great new writing - fast, acutely observed and emotionally truthful - and the pace is thrillingly alive.

What they don't like
It's spooky stuff, but the production begins at such a level of hysteria that it has nowhere else to go, says Lyn Gardner in The Guardian. "It's more of a theatrical conjuring trick and thriller than a soulful laying bare of mysterious truths."

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