A haunted pub, a series of mysterious deaths that may be linked, and one long night; Vaults is a one-act play by actor and playwright Jonathan Whiteside, performed in situ at locations where ghosts are said to walk. This year it was the vaults beneath Edinburgh’s Banshee Labyrinth, but in 2018 Vaults will be touring at the Withorn Crypts.
Vaults follows the exploits of a team of ghost hunters, a group of students led by the Doctor – a parapsychology professor played, tongue-in-cheek, by Danielle Farrow. As the evening progresses, signs of ghostly activity increase, and with it hints of a past tragedy emerge, a thread that links the characters together.
The backdrop to the play itself concerns these stories of murder, betrayal and haunting, and the atmosphere in the Labyrinths – even the drifting voices of bar patrons outside – give Vaults the feel of immersive theatre, rendering the whole affair spookily convincing.
The story of the Banshee Labyrinth makes it the perfect setting for Vaults, and a fitting venue for Edinburgh’s annual Horror Festival, which Vaults is part of. The Edinburgh Horror Festival takes place the weekend before Halloween every year, at several venues throughout central Edinburgh. The festival includes everything from spoken word to movie screenings to VR and, of course, theatre.
For a play that clocks in at just over fifty minutes, Vaults packs a punch, with a fast-moving plot and a genuinely spooky atmosphere – though the fact that the venue itself is a bar makes for occasional distractions – and an ending that will pull the rug out from under you.
Vaults is spookily convincing, the Banshee Labyrinth providing the perfect setting for a ghost story.
For more on the Edinburgh Horror Festival click here.