Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost, Unicorn Theatre - ★★★ - Until January 5, 2020


Oscar Wilde's “The Canterville Ghost” is a strange piece. Is it for adults or children? Anthony Weigh's adaptation tries hard to make it appealing for a younger audience and it almost succeeds, but parts of the story seem rather too deeply psychological for the target age-group. This production has pace and a clearly drawn plot, and there are some terrific visual images, especially the bed, and the interludes of magic that work well. The premise of an American family moving into a haunted English country house is amusingly created by a believable set of characters. The best performance came from Beth Cordingly as the mother. She captures the character's humour and humanity; Nana Amoo-Gottfried also stood out as the father. The idea of having two grown girls playing the eight-year-old twin boys is fun but sadly many of their words were lost. Safiyya Ingar (the tom-boyish teenage daughter) really shines in her long scene with the ghost; this was the pivotal moment in the play and works very well indeed. Paul McEwan's Canterville is suitably tragic. The production by Justin Audibert uses the large stage extremely well, but Prema Mehta's ambitious lighting plot doesn't quite come off. This is an engaging alternative to pantomime for those with a little more sophistication.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until January 5, 2020
Various show times available (see website below)
Unicorn Theatre
Nearest station: London Bridge
https://www.unicorntheatre.com/CantervilleGhost

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