‘The Uninvited’ delights audience with new actors

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 This story was originally published in the third edition of The Lion’s Tale (December 7, 2018).

When I went to see the drama department’s production of  The Uninvited, I had high expectations. In the weeks leading up to the play, I’d heard it advertised as a genuinely chilling and frightening story, though I regret to say that these expectations were not met. While the actors themselves were great and the technical effects impressive, the story itself left much to be desired.

The Uninvited tells the story of two siblings, Roddy and Pam, who decide to purchase a house called Cliff End, which is supposedly haunted by a ghost.

Stella Meredith, the granddaughter of Commander Beech, who owns the house, feels a connection to the ghost, and the characters spend most of the play trying to figure out who the ghost is.

They conclude it’s either Mary Meredith, who was supposedly Stella’s mother, or a gypsy named Carmel, who had an affair with Mary’s husband. They hold a seance to uncover the secrets of the past and find that Carmel was Stella’s mother, and that Mary’s ghost had been trying to kill Stella. The characters banish Mary’s ghost from the house, and Roddy and Pam decide to stay at Cliff End.

For me, the story of The Uninvited was much less compelling than that of The Mousetrap, last year’s play, though The Uninvited ran far more smoothly.

It had better effects, including lighting and sounds, and the set was much more detailed. After Oviedo dropped its Thespians program, the drama department has had more time to spend on their school plays, and it really showed. Familiar actors returning to the stage were welcomed by many students and parents who had come to see the play.

Although many actors are experienced and phenomenal at what they do, most of them are seniors on their last year of acting. Fortunately, new actors, including juniors and sophomores, added a breath of fresh air to the cast.

Seeing new performers was exciting, as I was looking forward to the different styles of acting portrayed by other students than the ones more frequently cast, and the way they portrayed the characters did not disappoint.

Although this is my final year at Oviedo, I hope this new trend of casting a variety of talented students, both new and returning, will continue to delight audiences in the future.