The Call of Cthulhu Stage Play review

Posted on Apr 11, 2015


The Call of Cthulhu stageplay as performed by Michael Sabbaton

The Call of Cthulhu stage-play as performed by Michael Sabbaton
Picture courtesy of

Okay, this review is quite late in the writing for I have been a busy bee but better late than never as they say whoever they are.

HP Lovecraft. The name is synonymous with science fiction and horror and his works have sent a chill through many and inspired generations across the decades. His monsters are the stuff of nightmares and his theme of madness all too uncomfortably real so it was with trepidation that I went to see Michael Sabbaton in the one man show stage version of The Call of Cthulhu at the Old Town Hall in Hemel Hempstead.

As we were ushered into the small and welcoming theatre, we were told to be aware that Sabbaton was already on stage.

And on stage he was…

We entered the dark stage, a green hazy light shining on a slouched form on a chair. He looked like a character from the Walking Dead on that chair, unmoving and unsettling; ready and waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting victim. I was already unnerved seeing him there on that chair. We all sat for a few moments just looking at him on the stage, eerie music playing in the back, and sounds as if being at sea. I felt as if I was a voyeur on a ghost ship, this lonely figure the only one of the crew left. A few steps away from him was a table with a battered suitcase by the side of it. On the table sat a wooden box which was to play an integral part later on.

For a few long minutes nothing happened. The creepy music played on, the still figure sat slumped in the chair as if dead. I could tell people felt uncomfortable, the atmosphere thick with tension as we waited for something to happen. I nervously looked about, expecting someone to jump out and give us all a fright and then suddenly the lights went up slightly and the figure started to move…

What followed was a descent into madness over varying characters who are all linked to a slumbering God-beast deep in the ocean who invades their minds.

Sabbaton switches easily and effortlessly between characters in voice and mannerisms, drawing you in deep to their psychosis as each describes their emotions and what it is that haunts their minds day and night.

The atmosphere was taut and heavy, grim and dark and yet the tension so palpable that each and every one of us was alert for what may come. It was as if we too could hear Cthulhu calling to us.

Even though the play only lasted an hour it felt longer as we were lost in its enthral and in its entire world. I was simply there in that world and did not want to leave. I wanted to know more about the God-beast and was hungry for more. It was simply the best hour I have spent in a long while and my friend and I recently said that we would like to see it again.

I wish Michael Sabbaton all the best with this play and any future work he does. I hope to see him again one day soon somewhere on stage.

Posted in: Entertainment