Review: Planchette

TheatreBloom rating:

When the dead speak, they might be talking to you. The mystifying and spookily intriguing tagline for a new experiential theatrical installment that has crept its way into the shadowy nightlife of Charm City just in time for the haunting season. Debuting at the historic Carroll Mansion over near Harbor East, Planchette appears for a limited run engagement to conduct an engagement with spirits from the beyond. Directed by Deirdre McAllister, the new piece was a collaborative conception between area playwright Annelise Montone and local performance artist and magician Brian M. Kehoe. This suspenseful evening is unlike any other theatrical experience currently occurring within or around the borders of Charm City and is unique in that everyone brings their own memories to the evening, whose central point of focus happens to be the Ouija Board. Remarkably engaging, if a little unnerving, Planchette may be the perfect eerie experience to seek just before Halloween.


Guests arrive to the Carroll Mansion on their evening of choice to be greeted by The Doorman (played with panache by Kel Millionie, who also serves as the Aesthetics Designer for the evening’s events.) From there it is an unusual but fascinating experience to behold, one that cannot be spoke about in words with any proper justice but simply must be experienced. That atmospheric indulgence created through Millionie’s knowledge and exposure of the venue is enticing. Nothing screams suspense quite so soundly as an actual historic building that is hundreds of years old, knowing that the aim of the evening is to make contact with the dead. The aural enhancements, as arranged and pointedly placed by one Brian M. Kehoe only further the experience, as it feels very similar to attending a haunting or séance of sorts.

Professor Maxwell Fink (represented well by Brian M. Kehoe) is a noted parapsychologist who is fully prepared, with the assistance of the highly scientific Dr. Swanson (equally well represented by Annelise Montone) to embark upon a journey to the other side. Do you believe? And will The Professor and The Good Doctor make believers out of you before the evening’s end? It goes without saying that there are some things that simply cannot be uttered in print, but the evening will be a memorable one, regardless of what your beliefs are upon entering the mansion home.

The marvels and mysteries that await eager audiences are nothing short of magical and remain so throughout the evening as Professor Fink leads the group through his remarkable approach and methodology of making contact with the spirits of the dead. Using a three-principle system, Fink invites the audience to place their trust with him and in reciprocation his with them. Be wary, you never know what will happen when one sets out with the intent of contacting spirits from the beyond.

Brian M. Kehoe as Professor Maxwell Fink in Planchette
Brian M. Kehoe as Professor Maxwell Fink in Planchette

Truly unusual and deliciously unsettling, the experience is most definitely one not to be missed in the area this fall season. Spoilers, however, make the spirits angry, so do be sure to share only what you must to ensure that your loved ones enjoy the experience too.

Running Time: Precisely one hour with no interruptions. Approximately one half-hour prior to show time is allocated for mingling with the evening’s other attendees.

Planchette plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings through November 7. 2015 at The Carroll Mansion— a historic Baltimore City Landmark located at 800 E. Lombard Street in Baltimore, MD. Tickets must be purchased in advance online.

To read the interview with co-conspirators Brian M. Kehoe and Annelise Montone, click here.

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