The Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

Darkness Falls

By Jonathan Holloway
Directed by Siobhán Hill Elam
23rd – 31st March 2012

A double bill of plays on the supernatural

Darkness Falls is the name given by writer Jonathan Holloway to a double bill of two plays, one an adaptation of an old story by W.W. Jacobs and the other an up to date version of an old German legend. Both of the plays deal with themes relating to the dark side of human nature, hence the title.

The first story is The Monkey’s Paw. This is a story written in 1902, now given a slightly more modern setting. It has links with many older stories, including Chinese legends, and deals with the perils of recklessly wishing for things to be different, without thinking of the possible consequences.

The second story, The Dark is Holloway’s own take on the classic legend of Faust. Faust’s tale has been the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic and musical works, including Christopher Marlowe’s 16th century play and Goethe’s version two hundred years later. It is the story of a dissatisfied, ambitious man who, in order to improve his fortunes, makes a terrible pact with the Devil’s henchman, Mephistopheles. In the course of the story, he destroys the life of an innocent girl. The fate of Faust himself varies according to the different versions – in some he is called upon to pay the debt and is eternally damned, in others, his efforts to save the girl lead to his own salvation. In this version, set in the present day, Jonathan Holloway plays with both scenarios and encourages the audience to think along a number of lines.

There are a number of links, on many levels, between the two plays. The chief connection, though, is the fact that both stories deal with the dangers inherent in allowing the twin deadly sins of greed and ambition to hold sway. Whether or not one is a believer in the supernatural, the lesson still has relevance. Both plays pose the eternal question about the true nature of evil.


Tickets are on sale now for just £10.

School groups pay only £5 per seat. Teachers interested in booking seats should contact our Education Coordinators Cindy Lawford and Elliot Brown Contact education team to find out about available workshops and talks on the play.

Show Talks

Free-of-charge pre- and post-show talks:

  • Wednesday 28th at 7.30pm in the Clubroom
    Director Siobhán Hill Elam explains the attraction of Holloway’s good old-fashioned terror.
  • Thursday 29th at 7.30pm in the Clubroom
    Dr. Cindy Lawford reviews the lives and works of W.W. Jacobs and Jonathan Holloway.
  • Friday 30th after the performance
    Cast members stay on stage to answer audience questions.


Directed by
Siobhán Hill Elam


The Monkey’s Paw
Mr White
Herbert White
Sergeant Major Morris
Man from Works
The Dark
Simeon Black
Richard Legg
Tony Price
Emma Landon-Philes


Set Design
Stage Manager
Costume Design
Rehearsal Prompt
Assistant Production Manager
Additional Assistance


Opening 28th May
By John Finnemore
Opening 13th June
By Mary Chase



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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Statement

At the Barn we are committed to promoting equality and challenging discrimination in all its forms. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for all members of the cast and creative team, regardless of their race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment.

Part 1, 18th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 19th Jan 8pm

Parts 1+2 20th Jan 2.30pm

Part 1, 23rd Jan 8pm

Part 2, 24th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 25th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 26th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 27th Jan 2.30pm

Part 2,  27th Jan 8pm