Review – amongst the best we’ve seen
Daphne Du Maurier’s bestselling 1938 novel Rebecca is brought to life in all it’s wicked jealousy by Kneehigh Theatre Company.
The evocative staging brings to life Manderley, the looming estate by the sea which is home to Maxim de Winter and his young new wife Mrs de Winter II.
Penned by Du Maurier as ‘a study of jealousy’ Rebecca explores what it is like to be a second wife living in the shadow of first – all the more difficult given that the memory of the first Mrs DW is not easily forgotten, especially by the sinisterly devoted housekeeper Mrs Danvers.
Young, meek and inexperienced, seemingly the polar opposite to the vivacious and carefree original Lady of the Manor, wife number two struggles to see how she can live up to a life of running an estate and managing an army of staff.
She is soon to discover that not all is what it seems and that Rebecca’s shadow cannot loom over her indefinitely.
The play encapsulates both darkness and humour in just the right balance, with the comedic butler’s assistant Robert (excellently played by Katy Owen) sure to be a firm favourite with audiences.
While director Emma Rice’s vision for Mrs de Winter (Imogen Sage) to be portrayed as more than just the one dimensional victim/wife to a man/ female is achieved with stark clarity.
The sound and staging alone makes the play worth going to see. A challenging and brilliant set visibly energises the cast. While the musical accompaniments will have me humming twisted, dark sea shanties while dancing the Charleston for days to come.
If you love the novel you’ll love the play. If you’ve enjoyed the Hitchcock film version of Rebecca – and you’re not my boyfriend – then this is definitely one to see!
Rebecca runs from 7th – 11th April 2015. For more information and to book tickets, click here.
Photographs: The Lowry via Flickr