Tom Mothersdale dangles his bare feet in a moat of dark water as the audience take their seats. Behind him is a peeling stucco wall. "I have things up my sleeve,” he boasts. “But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion..." So begins the memory play which launched the career of Tennessee Williams, which is at West Yorkshire Playhouse this month.
When asking friends what their favourite movies are, you can be assured that somebody will wax lyrically about The Shawshank Redemption. Based on the story by Stephen King, the 1994 film regularly finds itself topping the lists of the most popular movies of all time. This season, a theatrical adaptation arrives at Leeds Grand Theatre as part of a national tour. Following a film held in such public affection, how does a new imagining for stage stand up to scrutiny?
Andy DeFresne (Ian Kelsey) finds himself incarcerated at Shawshank State Penitentiary with two life sentences for the murder of his wife and her lover. Befriended by Ellis 'Red' Redding (Patrick Robinson), Andy is inducted into prison life but inevitably succumbs to abuse and torment. It's the 1940s and corruption is rife throughout the prison system; by using his tact and illelect, Andy makes long-term plans for the perfect escape.
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