‘The Haunting’ spooks at Foothills Playhouse

All About Ben
By Ben Robinson

It’s close to Halloween, so your friends at the Easley Foothills Playhouse have put together a scary production of “The Haunting,” adapted by Hugh Janes from five Charles Dickens ghost stories.

The play was apparently put together from the original Dickens stories, but the entire production flows effortlessly without any indication of the combination of the storylines.

The two main characters are David Filde, portrayed by Bobby Francis, and Lord Gray, portrayed by Gary Gentry. These two characters provide almost all of the dialogue, and the action revolves around them.

Filde has been hired by Lord Gentry to prepare the final items in his house for auction, as he is in the process of selling his inherited belongings to pay debts. The bickering between Filde and Lord Gentry reveals the plot of the play, and much about the history of the two men and the estate they are in.

Francis and Gentry do an excellent job of carrying the storyline, and keep their British accents throughout the play.

The third character in the play is the ghost, portrayed by Rhiannon Raggi. With the help of the Playhouse stage crew, Raggi’s “ghost” is the cause of much on-stage actions, and makes her first on-stage appearance just before the end of the first act. Her time on stage is brief, but the entire storyline revolves around her. Raggi does a good job of keeping her actions subtle throughout the play.

Maury Reed makes his directorial debut on this play. You may remember his father, Maurice Reed, who starred as “The Music Man” and in several other Foothills Playhouse productions, giving an outstanding performance each time. The apple did not fall far from the tree, as Maury did an excellent job directing a play with a complicated plot, yet only three characters on stage at any time to keep things fresh for the audience.

The real shame was that only a few people were at Sunday afternoon’s performance. The cast and crew deserved a full house to enjoy this master tale of suspense.

The good news is that this play will have some extra “special” performances Friday and Saturday at midnight, making an excellent late-night date close to Halloween. The play will return for a 3 p.m. matinee Oct. 28 finale.

The playhouse continues to provide entertainment, and held auditions for its next production, “Gold, Frankincense, Treee Ornaments and Myrrh,” set for mid-December.

The playhouse also sponsors “Easley Amused,” an improv group that presents free shows every Sunday night at the Playhouse.

The Playhouse will also present the “Miss Pink Ribbon Princess Pageant” Nov. 3. For more information call Erin at 419-3125 or visit All proceeds from the “Miss Pink Ribbon Pageant” will be donated to The Ta-Ta Queens, a local group focused on breast cancer awareness.