West End Theatre Live: Ghosts - 4 Stars
The multi award winning production of Ghosts hit screens last weekend and was truly haunting.
This is probably Henrik Ibsen’s most famous work and this production was adapted and directed by Richard Eyre. While some rather significant changes had been made to the end of the play I think this helped to depict the characters’ emotional and physical struggle.
This production only had a cast of 5 and there was no “weak link.” Leslie Manville played Helene and brought incredible depth and emotion to the role (she won an Olivier award for her portrayal). Will Keen played Manders (Helene’s priest and business advisor) and his character represents the ultra conservative views of society, which are directly opposed to the views of Helene. From the moment he walked on screen you couldn’t help but despise him. The other actor who stood out in this production was Jack Lowden who played Oswald, Helene’s son. This character suffers physically as well as emotionally and Lowden gave an incredible performance. He captured all the movements and expressions that were needed to portray his illness.
The set was also exceptionally clever. The entire play was in one room, but the back wall was transparent, so the audience could see a silhouette of the activities occurring in a second room. Apart from allowing action to happen out of the main room it also gave the appearance of turning the actors to ghosts, so it reinforced one of the strong themes of the play.
The filming of this production was stronger than recent theatre broadcast events. While it is a filmed stage play the audio was perfect throughout and they were able to change camera angle regularly to enable cinema viewers to experience different views of the play.
Overall an emotionally driven, exemplary production that’s been wonderfully adapted with a superb cast!
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Movie screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas