WICKIES: THE VANISHING MEN OF EILEAN MOR
Park200 @Park Theatre
30th Nov to 31st Dec 2022
“On 26th December 1900, a small ship was making its way to the Flannan Islands in the remote Outer Hebrides.
Its destination was the lighthouse at Eilean Mor; a remote island which (apart from its lighthouse keepers) was completely uninhabited. When the ship arrived on the island, the lighthouse was unlocked and two of three oil skinned coats belonging to the men were missing. The fire was out – and had been for some days – the kitchen area had half eaten food, the chairs were overturned, and the clock had stopped. More importantly, the lighthouse lamp was out. The three men had vanished.
Wickies is based on the true story of James Ducat, Thomas Marshall, and Donald MacArthur: a supernatural thriller that seeks to unravel the enduring mystery of the Vanishing Men of Eilean Mor.”
Review by Richard Lambert, 3 Stars
The theatre has been transformed by a two-tier set, an abundance of haze and a wind-swept soundscape. Settling in to watch the show and there is great excitement in the atmosphere.
An impressive lighting rig sensitively sculpts through the Haze and creates most of the drama.
With sea shanty singing aplenty and a plot based on a true story there is a promise of a tale unfolding. However the writing time-jumps with each actor multi-roleing from lighthouse keeper to discoverers of an empty lighthouse and this is where it can get a little confusing.
The story this is based on is set in 1900, however, there are electric bulkhead lights on the set wall and an actor with long hair in a bun. The characters don’t quite feel authentic. One of the characters is supposedly to be feared for his love of brawling and drink, while this is mentioned it isn’t ever acted out. And here lies the problem – a lot of the script is reported speech which comes across like a BBC news bulletin rather than in the here and now. The low level of dramatic engagement continues like a plateau with very few peaks and troughs.
The direction is very polite. Their squabbles and disagreements are mannered. The cast never vent, interrupt or shout each other down – the kind of behaviour that would certainly add interest. Nobody “loses it”. Sadly, it’s all a little restrained.
The story is very interesting but it’s the production values that save this production and make it worth a visit.
Photo Credit: Pamela Raith
Paul Morrissey, Christopher Wheeler, and Molly Morris in association with Park Theatre present the World Premiere of Wickies: The Vanishing Men of Eilean Mor By Paul Morrissey
Park 200, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Dates: Wednesday 30th November – Saturday 31st December 2022 | 7:00pm
Duration: 90 mins approx. with an interval
Schedule: Wed 30 Nov – Sat 17 Dec
Monday – Saturday Evenings – 7:30pm
Saturday and Thursday Matinees – 3:00pm
Mon 19 Dec – Sat 31 Dec
19 – 23 & 27 – 30 Dec – 7:30pm
21, 22, 27, 29 Dec – 3:00pm
24, 31 Dec – 1:00pm
31 Dec – 5.30pm
www.parktheatre.co.uk | 020 7870 6876*
* Telephone booking fee: 10% capped at £2.50 per ticket
Prices: Standard £18.50 – £32.50, Concessions £16.50 – £23.50, Access £16.50, Park Up (16 – 25 years) £10 for first week
Captioned Performance: Friday 16th December at 7:30pm
Audio Described: Wednesday 21st December at 3pm. Touch Tour at 2pm.
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About Paul Morrissey Ltd
Paul Morrissey Ltd is a commercial Theatre Production and General Management company based in London.
Spearheaded by Creative Producer Paul Morrissey, PML has produced and managed a diverse body of work across the world, ranging from live Musical Theatre shows and Plays to Concerts and Events.
In 2005, together with business partner James Milton, Paul set up Milton Morrissey Productions. In 2006 they were awarded the Stage One Bursary for New Producers and were mentored by Michael Harrison.
Together, they immediately produced Howard Goodall’s musical DAYS OF HOPE at the King’s Head Theatre in London with Sally Humphreys, Andy Barnes, and Stuart Piper. They followed this with major concert productions of LES MISERABLES and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR in the Channel Islands. Productions of CATS, BUDDY – THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY, CHESS and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT followed.
In 2012 they created one of the world’s first musical theatre supergroups, THE WEST END MEN. Since then, The West End Men has played a season at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End, performed on two UK national tours, a tour of mainland China, and in other international territories, including, Switzerland, South Korea, Singapore, Jersey and most recently with the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra in Thailand.
In 2019 PML presented the European premier of the Broadway musical BROOKLYN at Greenwich Theatre in London, followed by one of the world’s first productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA IN CONCERT.
In 2021, PML, together with Christopher Wheeler, Molly Morris, Jason Haigh-Ellery, GHP and The BARD, presented the world premiere of the ghost story WHEN DARKNESS FALLS at Park Theatre followed by a UK National Tour.
In April 2022, PML was an Associate Producers on the New York premiere of Times Square’s newest musical, ISLANDER. This year has also seen the launch of the second UK National Tour of WHEN DARKNESS FALLS.