The Shawshank Redemption
The Kings Theatre
5th – 10th October
£15.00 – £30.00
Arriving at the Kings Theatre for the stage production of The Shawshank Redemption which hosts some of the UK “s best leading actors was surely going to be a show to remember. Starring Ian Kelsey as Andy Dufresne and Patrick Robinson as Ellis “Red” Redding and presented by Bill Kenwright, this was a production many people have waited a long time for.. After reading the book and viewing the film no less than 7 times, the excitement grew with the anticipation of what this stage production was going to throw at us.
As the curtain rises , a beautifully crafted and well designed set appears and instantly you are drawn in to the world of the Shawshank Penitentiary . With the luxurious surrounding of the Kings Theatre you could not ask for a better theatre for such a dramatic production. The grey walls, grey pillars and the steel walk way above the prison cells opened up the stage and allowed us the audience to delve into the world of prison life. The guards uniforms and inmates turned up jeans were spot on, a real touch of prison dress code. The arrival of the innocent Andy Dufresne and his first encounter with Red gets the show underway. Within the first quarter of the show the ease at which the actors fell into character was gracious, and with such actors as Joe Reisig who plays Hadley the Prison Guard and Leigh Jones who plays Rooster, I was hooked !!!
The story unravels and the character”s collide !!! The events of living in prison take hold, beatens, rapes, parole, drugs, bribes and deaths take us to the dark depths of being locked up, innocent or not !!! This is a well acted and performed piece of theatre with every little detail getting absolute attention. Heart warming, but yet heart wrenching to watch, the scenes hit home with true feeling. A good actor is like a sculptor , he chips away at the old block until he his left with a masterpiece , that was evident in the acting on stage. Owen O”Neill who plays Warden Stammas was just brilliant, a quirky sad man who lived off the benefits of others. When the interval arrived it had felt like only 20 minutes had passed, signs of a good show !!!
Heading into the final part, the well acclaimed leading actors Ian Kelsey and Patrick Robinson had the audience embraced , partly due to their well executed performances of Red and Andy . This production of The Shawshank Redemption by Bill Kenwright was true to its origins but with an injection of new blood it embarked on a slightly new direction. It was smooth, emotional , intriguing , rough but most important it was delivered with brilliant excellence by all the actors.. I came away with a happy heart and a completely different take on The Shawshank Redemption. So glad and privileged to have seen this stage production. A must see !!!! FIVE STARS
Reviewer : Spud