If youâ€™re going to be in the Chicago, Illinois area between now and March 30th, then we highly recommend you grab tickets to see the WildClaw Theatre presentation of an adaptation of Arthur Machenâ€™s â€œThe Great God Panâ€ playing at Chicagoâ€™s Athenaeum Theater. Showtimes are Thursday â€“ Saturday 7:30 PM (CDT) and every Sunday at 3:00 PM (CDT).
â€œTHE GREAT GOD PANâ€ is Arthur Machenâ€™s classic tale about an horrific experiment performed upon an innocent young woman, resulting in a trail of sex, bloodletting, acts of horror and suicide spanning generations of time and crossing many countries. Machenâ€™s Helen, beautifully portrayed by stage actress Lily Mojekwu, is the seductress personification of evil. The audience is taken on a journey into the depths of depravity as they watch Tom Hickeyâ€™s Clarke and Peter Coreyâ€™s Jones struggle to solve the mystery of the trail of suicides in 1888 London.
The stage play has been adapted and directed by Charley Sherman. The novel was first published in the 1890â€™s and became a very controversial book for its time due to its decadent mixture of sex and horror. One paper described it as â€œAn incoherent nightmare of sexâ€. Another said it was â€œThe most acutely and intentionally disagreeable book yet seen in Englishâ€.
However, over time this novel has proven to be one of the most influential horror stories of all time, inspiring writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Peter Straub. In fact, Lovecraft once said of Machen, â€œOf creators of cosmic fear raised to its most artistic pitch, few can hope to equal Arthur Machenâ€.
This being the case the challenge for Sherman, his ensemble cast and exceptional crew has been to capture that same intense expression of fear upon the Chicago stage. If any indication from early reviews is to be noted, then he has succeeded perfectly in doing just that.
Time Out Chicago says, â€œIf this is the WildClaw standard for horror, weâ€™ll gladly be horrified again.â€
The Chicagoist calls â€˜The Great God Pan,â€™ â€œa truly knee-knocking show.â€
Finally, from Talk Theater in Chicago comes this review: â€â€™The Great God Panâ€™ aptly explores the nature of evil and the search for evilâ€™s true identity that unfolds with several unique twists. This major work is engaging and scary. The low budget production delivers several well-time moments that make you jump out of your seat.â€
To order your tickets online go to WildClaw Theater.com.