Though the operatic adaptation of Henry James’s ghoulish novel is staged fairly regularly, this new co-production from Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and English National Opera offers the rare chance to see the story brought to life in an atmospheric outdoor setting.
Designer Soutra Gilmour turns James’s Bly House into a ravishing ruin, with nature creeping in. The greenish hue of aged copper blends with overgrown grasses and a sense of decay seeps out from the skeletal structure of a Victorian greenhouse.
Sholto McMillan and Ellie Bradbury as Miles and Flora
Myfanwy Piper’s libretto is in safe hands with a cast of established talents and rising stars. Welsh soprano Rhian Lois gives an animated and absorbing performance as the new governess, who comes to Bly House to care for orphaned children Miles and Flora. Young Sholto McMillan shows great promise as Miles, balancing out the normal gaiety of childhood with a troubling sense of possession. And Ellie Bradbury brings an impish energy to sister Flora.
Though the mannered, melodramatic elements of the show rather dilute the actual fear factor of James’s story, the atmosphere remains. It’s an evockative, stylish production that will entertain opera buffs while remaining an accessible introduction for older children and opera newbies.
The Turn of the Screw is sung in English
|What||Britten's The Turn of the Screw, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review|
|Where||Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, Inner Cir, Westminster, London, NW1 4NU | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Baker Street (underground)|
22 Jun 18 – 30 Jun 18, eight performances at 7.45PM; two at 2.15PM
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|