‘A Classic Ghost Story’ – Turn Of The Screw

Hi everyone! Here’s to 2018!

For the first show of 2018, I went to go and see ‘Turn of The Screw’ by Henry James’ adapted for the stage by Tim Luscome. This show has been advertised as ‘The Classic Ghost Story’ and that is definitely the case. This is very much a play of despair, unconditional love, and fear!

‘Turn of The Screw’ tells the story of a fifty-year-old governess who is interviewed to take charge of her mistress’s children, for her then to find out she is actually one of two children she used to look after thirty years ago. The play tells the story if the governess’s time at Bly House and it’s haunted past. I enjoyed the show overall, but due to the time period in which the play is set, at times I personally struggled to understand a certain scene, due to the type of language used. This is anything, but a good thing, as it helps set the scene of the period.

A scene from Turn of the Screw by Henry James (adapted by Tim Luscombe) at the Mercury Theatre Colchester. Directed by Daniel Buckroyd. Designed by Sara Parks. Lit by Matt Leventhall.

Description: The Governess & Mrs. Grose looking far into the distance, in the children’s nursery

Throughout the show, there were transitions for the governess (played by Carli Norris) and Mrs. Conray between a past younger version of themselves and the present, and this was brilliantly done. Often when I go and see shows of the same style and layout, this can come across very confusing to the audience. However, in this case, there was no confusion and it was expertly done.

At first, I thought this is being a somewhat quiet show that someone with no vision would struggle understanding the story and what exactly was going on. But actually, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure there were some parts of the story that I struggled to understand, however, is the show progressed I started to get used to the style and started to understand the flow. There were some key moments, that as an audience member I did not see coming.

A scene from Turn of the Screw by Henry James (adapted by Tim Luscombe) at the Mercury Theatre Colchester. Directed by Daniel Buckroyd. Designed by Sara Parks. Lit by Matt Leventhall.

Description: The Governess sitting in a rocking chair facing forward, looking dazed.

Do not get me wrong, this is not a show for the faint-hearted and does have some loud sounds and flashing lights throughout, and the show has a very dark awareness about it. But this in no way should it take anything away from your show. All the cast were brilliant, and the story was excellently written and directed. I must say, this is not a show for everyone however if you enjoy a traditional vibe of theatre, then I can highly recommend this.

People With A Visual Impairment: I think with the show, not using a lot of lighting, the use of flashing lights and blackouts. I think you may struggle here, the use of Audio Description would be a good choice, along with a close seat to the stage. Please also if you are light sensitive, you maybe want to bare this in mind.

A scene from Turn of the Screw by Henry James (adapted by Tim Luscombe) at the Mercury Theatre Colchester. Directed by Daniel Buckroyd. Designed by Sara Parks. Lit by Matt Leventhall.

Description: A younger Mrs. Conray & her brother playing in the Nursery, she is wearing fairy wings, whilst her brother is wearing a horse head shaped hat.

People With No Vision: On a whole, I think you do fine here, again I think Audio Description is a good choice, however, if that’s not available then I think as long as you can understand some of the period language I think your do just fine. There some visual aids in the show which might not help in understanding the story, e.g. the transitions between the past and the present day, but I think if you go with a sighted friend then you should be okay to watch this without a worry.

‘Turn of The Screw’ is running at The Mercury Theatre from 23rd February until 10th March. But the show is also on a national tour throughout the UK. If you would to see if ‘Turn of The Screw’ is coming to your local theatre, then you can find out by clicking the link below:

Mercury Theatre Tickets Click Here. For all other UK Tour dates Click Here.

Until Next Time,

The VI Critic!

 

Photo Credits: Mercury Theatre & Robert Workmen

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