North by Northwest
Screenwriter Ernest Lehman,
Playwright Carolyn Burns
Theatre Royal Bath
The Theatre Royal is home to this hi tech innovative stage production of the classic film prior to it taking flight to Toronto. Using a combination of cinematic green-screen techniques, video projection, scale models and good old-fashioned theatrical wizardry, Roger O. Thornhill’s race from spies, Feds, a crop-dusting plane and a cool and collected, mysterious blonde is brought thrillingly to life in a seamless blend of live performance and live camera work.
The original story remains safely intact. Roger O Thornhill is kidnapped by thugs who insist he is George Kaplan. The mistaken identity prevails and it is impossible to know the good guys from the villains and who exactly is who. There is also a kindly nod to Hitchcock himself which reflects the humour that runs throughout the show.
The cast work tirelessly to distract the audience from the technical side of life however at times they are overshadowed by proceedings. Jonathan Watton as Roger O Thornhill cuts a dashing hero escaping from the grasp of Vandamm (Gerald Kydd.) The principal cast is complemented by an outstanding ensemble that multi role and take control of proceedings with great dexterity and style.
This is an epic work where the world of film and theatre collide; creating something that feels innovative, exciting and engaging. Fans of the film will not be disappointed and anyone interested in seeing a new step in theatrical techniques will come away inspired and in awe of the sheer scale of the production; this is groundbreaking work.
**** – 4 Stars
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