PrintE-mail Written by Tony Jones

Review: The Carnival of Horrors (The Springheel Saga Series 2) / Author: Gareth Parker, Robert Valentine / Publisher: The Wireless Theatre Company / Starring: Christopher Finney, John Holden White, Neil McCormack, Philip Lawrence, Andrew Shepherd, Josephine Timmins, Ashley McGuire, Silas Hawkins, Stephen Brian Hill, Mike Tomlinson, Tom Adams, Jane Deane, James Duckworth, Jeremy Stockwell, Nicholas Parsons / Release Date: Out Now

The Wireless Theatre Company continues their second series of the Legend of Springheel’d Jack with The Carnival of Horrors.

DI Jonah Smith (Finney) is on the run suspected of murder and finds refuge in the travelling circus in the company of Lizzie Coomber (Timmins). Staying undercover he struggles to clear his name and is no nearing to locating Springheel’d Jack.

The story takes its time in building up the central characters and it is very easy to sit back and enjoy this rich recreation of early-Victorian England. The dialogue is sharp and the production paints pictures on the canvas of the listener’s mind – there's an especially unforgettable sequence that unfolds in an inn with the wonderful name of Shakespeare’s Chophouse. The writers are careful to build up several threads of mystery surrounding a magician (Parsons) and a Punch and Judy man. Lizzie also reveals hidden depths and charges DI Jonah with finding out who killed Maria in the previous episode, The Terror of London. We learn of magical mysteries and also get glimpses into DI Jonah’s early life. This all plays out with the background of the fair, and meantime the constabulary are hot on Jonah’s trail – he is one of their own and deserves no favour.

When the climax of the story arrives it is entirely unexpected on several counts and like Jonah himself the listener can’t wait to find out what happens next. We have just to wait a few weeks for the final part in this enthralling series.

The Carnival of Horrors is available now and full details are available on the Wireless Theatre Company website for this and the rest of this series.

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