Review Round Up: The Turn of the Screw, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Benjamin Britten’s opera is given the Open Air Theatre treatment in Timothy Sheader’s production. Here’s what critics have had to say about it…

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The Guardian: **** “It’s a fine production that gathers in intensity as darkness falls.”

The Stage:  **** “The central figure, the Governess, is sung here by Anita Watson. The gentle radiance of her soprano and the unforced clarity of her diction (there are no surtitles) are matched by an economical, but always eloquent physical performance.”

WhatsOnStage: ***** “Timothy Sheader’s new staging, co-produced by English National Opera and his own Regent’s Park Theatre, is revelatory. He treads a fine line in depicting the possession of two young children by their now-dead abusers, reading the understated tale as an erotic horror story and balancing shock moments with shocking imagery.”

The Times: **** “Like cricket, opera can be a day/night game. And as English National Opera’s first excursion into Regent’s Park proves, that works perfectly when you are staging probably the creepiest opera yet written.”

Time Out: *** “There’s so much about Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre that makes it a memorable, atmospheric venue for opera. Here, the rustle of the trees and distant birdsong both do their best to contribute some unearthly atmosphere, and when it eventually gets dark, the performance feels immeasurably creepier. All it needs is a production that can match the unsettling power of Britten’s music.”

Evening Standard: **** “Sheader doesn’t overplay the ghost story aspects of the plot; he gives us a psychological drama, in which the corruption of innocence is all too real. ”

The Telegraph: **** “It’s hard to imagine a more aptly evocative setting for Britten’s masterly adaptation of Henry James’ ghost story The Turn of the Screw  than the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park where, on a hot summer’s evening, dense foliage surrounds the stage and the sunset turns dusky in the gloaming.”

The Turn of the Screw performs at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre until the 30th June. For more information visit:

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