There aren't many viable stage adaptations of this classic Henry James novella, so I'm hoping this one, introduced in 2005, will find some interest in theatres looking for a fascinating ghost story layered with psychological implications and gripping tension from start to finish. The cast is manageable--seven characters, only five of whom speak--and the bulk of the acting responsibility is heaped upon the Governess and Mrs. Grose, the housekeeper. There are also two extremely challenging roles for young actors who can play children of 8 and 10 years of age.
While THE TURN OF THE SCREW is most assuredly a story about a haunted house, it is far from a trivial and lighthearted GHOSTBUSTERS-genre tale. The stunning conflict faced by the very young, very impressionable Governess involves almost unimaginable, hideous actions taken in the past by former members of the household staff, actions which reverberate still in the lives of Flora and Miles, the two children the Governess has been hired to attend by the disinterested, ineffectual Master of the house.
This adaptation offers a great opportunity for experienced actors, directors and designers to mount an eerie production laden with terror and suspense.
"...an evening's worth of startles, spine-tingles and a climax of absolute horror. Be prepared to be scared.
"...a venerable horror story can shock a modern audience."