Thespian Michael Sabbaton has taken one of H.P. Lovecraft’s best-known works and adapted it for the stage. “The Call of Cthulhu” is currently playing at Edinburgh’s Hill Street Theater, and will do so through August 30. “The Call of Cthulhu” is a globe-trotting tale, a sprawling narrative told through the perspectives of multiple characters, and would be a challenge for an entire troupe of actors. Sabbaton’s own adaptation is a one man show, with the actor portraying all of the characters through short vignettes.
Sabbaton shared his thoughts behind the adaptation at the play’s website:
“In adapting Cthulhu for the theatre, I needed to set upon some rules that would do this job. Firstly and most importantly, it should definitely be an adaptation and not a replication. The ‘book’ should not just be thrown upon the stage. No point. It must be free to interpret the story for the theatre and that of its audience. Secondly, it must revolve around action – ‘things that happen’ and even if there are no words spoken on stage, something is always happening. The piece should be character driven from the moment go with no extended storytelling or narration. No great exposition. It should all come from the characters’ own lives and experiences. Thirdly, it should not become a ‘theme park ride’ of horror like a ghost train. The audience should be able to feel their way through the story alongside the characters without being forced, pushed or lead to the next ‘scream’. That might be fun but after the ride has ended where else is it going to go?”
Check out the trailer for the play below: