5-10 October 2015
Reviewed by Emma Stubbs
I think it’s fair to call me a fan of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. Two copies of the book sit on my shelves, the poster for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 adaptation adorned my university wall, and I dragged my husband to the Cornish coast to stay in one of the two holiday cottages at Menabilly, the former home of Du Maurier, whose beach was the inspiration for the stories denouement. I probably approach new adaptations with a little bit of trepidation, so it’s with no lack of forethought that I found the Kneehigh Theatre version currently playing at Bradford’s Alhambra to be one of, if not the most perfect adaptation I’ve so far seen.
For those that don’t know the story; after the mysterious death of his first wife, Maxim de Winter and his new wife return to Manderley. The new Mrs De Winter is surrounded by memories of the glamourous Rebecca and consumed by jealousy and sets out to uncover the secrets of the house. The house and the past are fiercely guarded by the sinister housekeeper Mrs Danvers. All is not what it seems in Manderley…
There’s a wonderful thread of comedy that runs through the play, both alleviating and highlighting the tension and suspense that are the driving forces of the story. The set is likewise excellent, a single scene with a few interchangeable pieces managing to cover both the house, Manderley, and the beach, and a clever use of puppetry helps to bring life to the scene.
The music is likewise excellent, all lilting sea shanties played out on stage as the members of the cast pick up accordion, double bass, and a myriad of other instruments.
The Alhambra is the perfect setting for it, as well. The grandiose interior only adds to the feeling of being part of the action, and the staff are warm and welcoming. There’s ample parking nearby, with two multi story car parks within walking distance and, in the evening, the Jacob’s Well car park is a cheap alternative.
Overall, the show makes for a fantastic night out, that I’m sure will be enjoyed by many.
Tickets cost from £14.50 to £30 (booking fees may apply).
The Kneehigh Theatre production of Rebecca is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford until 10 October 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01274 432000.
The Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | Box Office 01274 432000