Inspiring stage production of a film classic
The movie version of Stephen King's short story Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is generally considered one of the best films ever made. Last night's Londonderry debut of the acclaimed stage adaptation showed that King's tale works just as well as a play.
The Shawshank Redemption was a two-hour tour de force, with up to 17 actors onstage at any time. Derry's Millennium Forum was transformed into the foreboding Shawshank State Prison, with mesmerising use of light, sound effects and music transporting the audience back to 1950s and '60s Maine.
The stage was perhaps smaller than some the West End production has been used to, but the cramped confines worked in the play's favour, underlining the feeling of claustrophobia.
As in the movie, narrator 'Red' -- played onscreen by Morgan Freeman and here by John Earl Jelks -- was black, rather than the flame-haired Irishman of King's imagination. The genial fixer introduced us to Andy Dufresne, an educated banker convicted of murdering his wife. California Chronicles for full story
June 1-5 2010
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