THE EXORCIST – West End ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

Phoenix Theatre, London – until 10 March 2017

Released in 1973, The Exorcist is still thought to be one of the scariest films ever made. So could it ever live up to its iconic reputation if produced on stage?

As we take to our seats there is murmuring, voices whispering through speakers around us. The front of house team and others are strategically placed around the auditorium. They keep a watchful eye on the audience. The voices increase, a heartbeat is introduced, the tension builds and suddenly we are plunged into complete darkness and so it begins.

What follows is an hour and forty minutes of psychologically thrilling entertainment, which still has the ability to shock today. The avid “Exorcist” enthusiast who knows every detail of the film may not appreciate this live adaptation. But credit must indeed be given to illusion creator Ben Hart and the cast for creating more of a theatrical event than just another night at the Theatre.

At times during the opening scenes, the dialogue was a little too soft to be heard. I would also suggest that you possibly need to be closer to the stage than we were in Row M of the stalls. As my plus one did not catch-all the illusions created, which is a shame as some were really quite something.

The cast are believable and true to their characters. But it is Regan played by Clare Louise Connolly that really is the star of the show. Her “possessed” persona sends chills through you. Tristram Wymark made an endearing Burke. Other noteworthy performances from Jenny Seagrove, Peter Bowles, Todd Boyce and the powerful Adam Garcia.

 

Not being a huge fan of horror or overly familiar with the film I was unsure how I would react to this production. I’m not going to say I enjoyed it because enjoy is probably the wrong word. However the fact that I was thoroughly engaged throughout means that I fully appreciated its cult status which is bound to continue with this new adaptation. Be warned, though, it is, quite rightly, age 18+ and definitely not for the faint-hearted. For this is truly an atmospheric and very dark evening’s entertainment.

The Exorcist is booking to 10 March 2018. Starring Peter Bowles (Father Merrin), Clare Louise Connolly (Regan), Adam Garcia (Father Karras) and Jenny Seagrove (Chris).

A play by John Pielmeier

Adapted from the novel by William Peter Blatty

Directed by Sean Mathias

Book Exorcist Tickets HERE!

The post Review – The Exorcist appeared first on Carns Theatre Passion.

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Caroline Hanks-Farmer
Having been a performer for many years, Caroline knows first hand how much the support of a good audience is valued, appreciated and needed. She is passionate about all performing art, but has a particular interest in new writing and Off-West End productions. Having reviewed for other publications, she set up her website, Carn’s Theatre Passion, to provide more exposure for these areas, as well as news, views, interviews and information on all stage-related matters.
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Caroline Hanks-Farmer on FacebookCaroline Hanks-Farmer on InstagramCaroline Hanks-Farmer on LinkedinCaroline Hanks-Farmer on PinterestCaroline Hanks-Farmer on RssCaroline Hanks-Farmer on TwitterCaroline Hanks-Farmer on Youtube
Caroline Hanks-Farmer
Having been a performer for many years, Caroline knows first hand how much the support of a good audience is valued, appreciated and needed. She is passionate about all performing art, but has a particular interest in new writing and Off-West End productions. Having reviewed for other publications, she set up her website, Carn’s Theatre Passion, to provide more exposure for these areas, as well as news, views, interviews and information on all stage-related matters.

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