It took me far too long to realise that the wonderful Kneehigh Theatre were performing their adaptation of Rebecca at The Theatre Royal Bath last week. When I did finally get round to noticing their presence and hearing in passing some great comments about the show, I quickly got into the theatre to book a ticket! Of course, it was incredibly popular and I was left with standing room only tickets (which were incidentally very good!) and I managed to bring my mum along too, as she is very keen on good theatre and even more so on literature, so the title sold itself!
We were astounded from the first moment by the beautiful set and the opening with a body descending from the ceiling and a boat coming down after it. It just set the scene and tone for the play so wonderfully. Throughout, Kneehigh used some fantastic comedic moments to break the tension of quite a dark story and the character of Bea was truly my favourite at this. She was brash and practical and lifted scenes effortlessly.
The new Mrs de Winter is a very difficult role. She is in turmoil throughout the first act as she fights for attention and love and things can't stop going wrong for her but in the second half she has the pleasure of being in on the secrets and manipulation that underlies the whole plot. She was fantastic! I certainly believed her as the disappointed new wife vying for her husband's attention, trying not to say the wrong thing, and I enjoyed her tremendously as the partner in crime she became.
Of course, you can't go to a Kneehigh production without immensely enjoying the onstage music which was a beautiful sailor-inspired score sometimes in conjunction with close harmony singing. It is so provocative to have music like that which sets the scene and tone for the piece. I love it!
Overall, I was amazed and in awe of the wonderful Kneehigh and Emma Rice who adapted and directed this phenomenal show. I wanted nothing more, of course, than to be up there with them!