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Theatre Review: Rebecca - Kings Theatre, Glasgow ✭✭✭✭


Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier's most famous book, is described as a 'study in jealousy' and draws from Maurier's personal experiences with the issue. The book has already had a successful film adaptation and now Kneehigh Theatre brings a fresh take on this unsettling tale to the stage.

After the mysterious death of his first wife, Rebecca, Mr de Winter returns to Manderley and his marital home with a new wife in tow. The new Mrs de Winter struggles with the unfamiliar surroundings and fails to live up to the glamorous and confident Rebecca. Feeling inferior and overcome with jealousy she sets out to find out more about her predecessor, and quickly discovers there is more to Rebecca's death than meets the eye.

The show grips your attention from the moment the curtain opens, an eerie atmosphere filling the theatre as a boat sinks slowly to the bottom of the sea with Rebecca's body hidden underneath. As the audience is introduced to Mr de Winter's sister Beatrice (Lizzie Winkler) and brother-in-law Giles (Andy Williams) we learn this is the first encounter they have had with his new bride. Although the premise of the plot is dark, Winkler and Williams inject humour with their characters' eccentricity - at times this does distract from the tension but works well overall. 

Imogen Sage plays painfully shy Mrs de Winter perfectly, conveying her subdued side well in Act I but really shining when the character comes into her own towards the end of Act II. Tristan Sturrock does an exceptional job as Maxim de Winter, wrestling with his inner demons and the ghosts of his past.

This unique take on the classic story manages to be faithful to the original text while injecting it with a new and irreverent wit.  Solid performances from the cast coupled with a dynamic and elaborate set result in an enjoyable production from start to finish.

Rebecca is at the King's Theatre until Saturday 7th November. For tickets and information visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/Glasgow

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