The Turn of the Screw
From: Tuesday, 7th August 2012
To: Thursday, 16 August 2012
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Miss Jessel is dead. A new governess arrives at a remote estate in Bly to care for Miles and Flora. Wild but angelic they charm their guardian with flowers, poetry and song. But as she grows to love her two wards, figures appear in the darkness outside and the corners of the house are haunted by those that have gone before. The Governess must confront her fear and protect the children from the alarming dangers that surround them.
Anne Morley-Priestman - 7 August 2012
Atmosphere is everything in the Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw. It’s a ghost story certainly, one of literature’s most famous; it’s also a study in feminine psychology. The setting is an old country mansion in Essex and the protagonist a young governess taking charge of two children, the orphaned nephew and niece of her employer. On the surface, they are model children. Under that angelic surface…?
The ghosts in question are those of the former governess Miss Jessel and an over-reaching valet ,Quint. The problem for Clare Goddard in staging the Ken Whitmore dramatisation in an intimate theatre where the small stage laps at the feet of the audience is how to materialise them. Housekeeper Mrs Grose cannot see them (at least, she says that she can’t), but they are palpable to Miss Grey (the governess is unnamed in James’ story and the Britten opera based on it) and to sub-teenage Flora and Miles.
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