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Another exceptional release - I realise there will come a time when one of these audios will leave me dissatisfied, but not today. Poor Maggie Evens, reflecting on troubled times I've yet to fully appreciate, with The Sandman, or the voice of her madness, or the Demon on her shoulder, or her paranoia is played with magnificent, charming malevolence by Alec Newman, forever preying on Maggie's damaged state.
Everything that surrounds Maggie is described in sinister proportions - Windcliff and it's determined Doctor Hoffman, the sterile surroundings, the encroaching weather, her dreams - the only real exception is her father, Pop, the one island of reassurance for the fragile Maggie. All this with the subtle backing of Joseph Fox's Hans Zimmer-like piano enhanced music ...
As The Sandman's grip takes further hold, everything that happens seems like one of his machinations. Even when he leaves Maggie alone, it is as if he is toying with her. His real or percieved mental torture is relentless in its cruelty, and it is a testament to Maggie's strength of character that she doesn't succumb to his evil.
A great passing time is covered here - the seasons bring with them increasing torment. Just as Doctor Hoffman tries to convince Maggie that The Sandman is not real, so he/it in turn tries to convince her that the Doctor and Windcliff itself is a fiction.
When things come to an end, as they always must, it is almost possible to sympathise with The Sandman, whatever he is, such is Newman's sterling performance, and yet even at the end there is untold power in even his most softly whispered promise. Of course, this is Kathryn Leigh Scott's journey, and her performance matches her villainous co-star in a story of genuinely brooding intensity. Absolutely brilliant.