RESIDENTS of Cwmcarn may well have been unnerved late on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights last week by howling and fast-moving lights coming from the forest.

Based on Angela Carter's classic gothic werewolf tale The Company of Wolves, the play of the same name came to Blackwood Miners Institute for three nights last week.

But this was not just an ordinary theatre production. The performance, adapted by company Burn the Curtain and Shiona Morton, is part of theatre-lovers' growing appetite for immersive theatre - a type of performance where the audience are very much involved in the action.

The story centred on the search for a missing bride and the dark, mysterious circumstances surrounding her disappearance.

Two types of tickets were available for "hunters" and "gatherers". The group of hunters would run four miles while stopping to watch and hear pieces of the tale, while the separate group of gatherers walked two and a half miles.

Along their separate routes around Cwmcarn Forest, both groups encountered characters including the Duke, Alice the wolfgirl and Ruby, based on Little Red Riding Hood.

It was dusk when the audience set off and as the light faded the tale became darker with exciting twists and turns.

Bats flew overhead, adding to the atmosphere, and by the end the audience used torches and candles to guide their way to the marvellous finale.

It was immersive theatre at its best; in a beautiful Gwent location, the actors and actresses were captivating. Along the way the sound of Cwmcarn Forest's running water added to the thrilling atmosphere. A must for all theatre lovers.