Seems like a crazy idea to stage this most unstageable of movies but that’s what Birmingham Rep. did towards the end of last year and it really worked. All your favourite bits from the film were there – projectile vomiting, flying beds and a 360 degree rotating head. Adapted for the stage by John Pielmeier from the novel by William Peter Blatty and directed by Sean Mathias, the show had all the tension of the movie and the atmosphere in the packed house was electric. It’s a while since I heard so much screaming in a theatre. The visual effects and magic ( Duncan McClean and Ben Hart ) were spectacular. This is the sort of show that will bring younger audiences to the theatre and, if it hits London, will run and run.
Caroline or Change
This was presented recently at the Minerva studio theatre in Chichester and has at its centre two bravura performances from Sharon D. Clarke as Caroline and ( at the performance I saw ) Daniel Luniku as young Noah Gellman. It is a sung through musical by Tony Kushner, directed by Michael Longhurst. It is hard to convey the flavour of the piece but if I tell you that the cast list includes Me’sha Bryan as The Washing Machine, Ako Mitchell as The Bus and Angela Caesar as The Moon you might get an idea. I think this is the second UK production of the show. It passed me by the first time. I don’t understand why it has not yet hit the big time in this country. It’s not a show for the big West End musical palaces but in a suitable venue ( The Dorfmann, The Southwark Playhouse, the Chocolate Factory ) it would be this year’s hot ticket.