Review: The Shawshank Redemption

BKL Productions
Until November 26th at Theatre Royal
4 Stars (4 / 5)

For three hours the Theatre Royal transports audiences to the Shawshank Maximum Security Penitentiary. Based on the short novel by Stephen King and beautifully adapted by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns for the stage, this production of The Shawshank Redemption is still as relevant today as when it first came out on the silver screen decades ago.

Directed by David Esbjornson, the only drawback about the production is that the transitions break the momentum of the performance. Scene changes, however quickly done, still take some time and have to be covered by musical interludes, resulting in tension diffusion every time there is a change in location. However, the magnetic presence of the strong all-male ensemble keeps audiences engrossed in this world of injustice and darkness, in particular Brooksie (Andrew Boyer), whose heartbreaking life story is a perfect example of the flaws of the judicial system in modern civilisation.

This production feels like the movie itself, thanks to the realistic re-creation of the Shawshank universe through Dan Samson, Chris Davey and Gary McCann designs for sound, lighting, costume and set respectively. Fans of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black should definitely come to this show.