Theatre adaptation highlights in store for 2010
Orlando, Lark Rise to Candleford and A Clockwork Orange making move from page to stage
As ever there are a number of literary adaptations coming to Scotland’s theatres this autumn. Allan Radcliffe previews some well-known titles that are making the transition from book to play
The latest production from Theatre Cryptic is a typically imaginative take on Virginia Woolf’s exuberant masterpiece about a young boy, born during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who lives for centuries and transforms into a woman, going on to rub shoulders with some of the defining figures of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Cryptic’s production fuses Darryl Pinckney’s celebrated adaptation with stunning visuals and a soundtrack by composers AGF and Craig Armstrong, performed by actress Madeleine Worrall and AGF.
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 30 Sep–Sat 2 Oct; Tramway, Glasgow, Tue 2–Fri 6 Nov.
A Clockwork Orange
‘What’s it going to be then, eh?’ So begins Anthony Burgess’ famous dystopian novel, which opens with the scene of charismatic teenage delinquent Alex and his three ‘droogs’, Pete, Georgie and Dim, setting off a night of ‘ultraviolence’, which includes rape and numerous beatings. Best-known to modern audiences from the notorious film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick, the stage version of A Clockwork Orange is on its way to the Citizens Theatre, in a production directed by Jeremy Raison. While staging the scenes of ultraviolence could prove tricky, the biggest challenge for the Citz will be stepping out from under the shadow of Kubrick much-imitated film.
Citizens Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 13 Oct–Sat 6 Nov.
Lark Rise to Candleford
Hot on the heels of the successful BBC costume drama comes this stage adaptation of the first book in Flora Thompson’s best-selling trilogy about life and relationships of characters in the fictional hamlet of Lark Rise at the end of the 19th century. Originally adapted for London’s National Theatre in the late 70s and staged as a promenade piece, with audience members mingling with Lark Rise farm workers, craftsmen and gentry, this revival may be more conventional in conception, but is likely to prove just as popular. Sara Crowe and Jonathan Ansell lead the cast of familiar faces.
King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Mon 18–Sat 23 Oct.
The Secret Garden
Some theatre-goers prefer a traditional panto, complete with men in frocks, sweetie showers and lashings of local humour. Those better disposed towards straight play adaptations of classic children’s stories need look no further than Marsha Norman’s brand new adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s enduring tale about a young orphan, Mary Lennox, who is dispatched to a lonely old house on the Yorkshire moors and brings healing to the house and its inhabitants following her discovery of a locked up garden surrounded by a wall. Acclaimed Scottish actress Siobhan Redmond leads the cast in a production that also features original music by Lucy Simon.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Thu 9 Dec–Sat 8 Jan.