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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

Misery

The Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool

June 15 – July 5
Author: Stephen King adapted by Simon Moore
Director: Noreen Kershaw
Producer: The Royal Court Theatre
Cast: Andrew Schofield, Joan Kempson
Running Time: 2hrs 25 mins

Image: Promo image for 'Misery'.


Thankfully, Simon Moore has stuck as faithfully to the original premise, allowing this adaptation of Misery to revolve around just two characters, Annie and Paul, and thus giving Director, Noreen Kershaw, to concentrate on how, through adversity and loneliness, the pair grow to depend upon each other and it’s a pity this production of Misery hasn’t been staged at Christmas because if ever there has been a more stark warning against the mindlessness of drink driving, then Stephen King’s tale of how an author crashes his car and falls under the care of his demented number one fan –Misery is it.

 

Andrew Schofield brings a depth to Sheldon missed entirely by James Caan in the movie version. Sheldon is a successful author and a failed man and Schofield delivers these important elements with typical style, never once wavering in his character’s sense of purpose: to survive at all costs, but also to escape – as writers do – through his work.
Joan Kempson’s Annie Wilkes, Sheldon’s irreparably damaged nurse, after a more sedate start than might be expected, grows beautifully into the deranged creature made famous by Kathy Bates. At the end, Kempson is either screaming and shouting with best of them or growing quiet with sinister, melancholic brilliance.

With lighting and music adding deep shadow and brilliant light, a fabulous set that revolves to hint at what is going to happen before it actually does and two ultra-fine performances, this is a darkly twisted tale of fan-love that is guaranteed to have audiences riveted.

Chris High

Read Chris High's review of the book: Misery by Stephen King

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Chris High on BBC Radio Merseyside talking about 'Misery' - 20th June 2008

 

Image link: Royal Court Theatre  official website
www.royalcourtliverpool.co.uk


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