SOTS back with ‘frightening’ play

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The South Otago Theatre Society (SOTS) is set to bounce back from a Covid›19 hiatus with twisted thriller I’ll be home before Midnight.

The two›act, full›length play follows a young married couple taking a break in a secluded cottage following wife Jan’s hospital treatment for a nervous disorder.

But the peace and quiet is rapidly rattled by husband Greg’s announcement his sister will be joining them, and tales of the cottage’s disturbing history — related with delight by the property’s eccentric owner — take their toll on fragile Jan, who finds herself trapped in a worsening nightmare.

‘‘SOTS first performed I’ll be back before Midnight in 1991,’’ director Ngaire Taylor said.

‘‘It has action, suspense, dark comedy and plot twists, and its (Canadian) playwright, Peter Colley, claimed he didn’t realise how frightening it was until he actually saw it performed.’’

Co›star and SOTS stalwart Brent Gardiner agreed the play was an excellent choice to christen the theatre’s new floor.

‘‘This play needs silence during scene changes and we’ve got that now. The floor is so good the creaking noises have to be provided by audio effects,’’ he said.

Cast and crew on set at the July 14 rehearsal were keen to thank sponsors and contributors to SOTS’ community drama space, which also features new, custom›made, tiered seating and has a list of further improvements scheduled.

‘‘The society is discussing plans for future shows and we’re excited about the possibilities the new Community Hub will mean for local performing arts,’’ Mr Gardiner said.

I’ll be back before Midnight will unfold at SOTS’ George St Theatre, Balclutha, on August 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 7pm, and August 14 at 2.30pm, with tickets and bookings available from July 21.