Taking a horror classic and adapting it to a live stage show sounds like a very daunting process. especially when said text is The Exorcist.
The book and film version are lauded as horror classic but Bill Kenwright who has adapted this piece first for the West End and now for a nationwide tour, largely succeeds.
As scary as part of the Exorcist were on its original release its the characters who have really stood the test of time and this is what Kenwright focuses on rather than flat out shock value.
Granted there are some twisted and jumpy moments but it’s ultimately the story which endures.
The main reason for this is the excellent performances of the key trio of Ben Caplan Sophie Ward and Susannah Edgley as Father Karras, Chris McNeil, and Regan respectively.
A special mention too for Tristram Wymark who chews up the scenery as the drunk and flamboyant uncle Burke.
There are a couple of iconic moments that are skipped over, such as the spider walk and Father Merrin’s first arrival but the pacing of the show is excellent. We end the first act on a memorable note and this leaves us clambering for more once the curtain comes back up.
The set design is superb and fluid throughout and you really get the feel of the McNeil house.
Make no mistake this isn’t William Friedkin’s Exorcist but it never tries to be and remains faithful to its source material with a few nice surprises on the way.
The Exorcist stage show is the perfect show to see over the Halloween season.