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REVIEW: Jamaica Inn
3:54pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Entertainments
THE first known stage adaption of Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn was by David Horlock and performed at Salisbury Playhouse in 1990.
Horlock, artistic director at the theatre, was tragically killed in a car accident during its run.
Studio Theatre has gone to great pains to track down his unpublished script for this run, and it is a well-crafted version of the classic novel.
The set is great and the forbidding atmosphere of the bleak moors and smugglerridden coast is very much in evidence.
But where other recent Studio shows have impressed with their professionalism, this one is a little lacking.
Emily Prince puts in an able performance in the central role of Mary Yellan, a young woman who goes to stay with her aunt and uncle at the strange and forbidding inn on the Cornish moors around Bodmin following the death of her mother.
George Cotterill as her bullied and abused aunt admirably portrays how frightened and cowed the character is, while Alistair Faulkner gives a very good performance as Francis Davey and Daniel Coffey is likable and charming as Jem Merlyn.
However, Studio newcomer Anthony von Roretz goes rather over the top in his portrayal of innkeeper Joss Merlyn. Although enthusiasm is great, he could do with toning it down in order not to distract from the action and the other characters around him.
And I’m not sure what accent most of the cast was doing, but it certainly wasn’t Cornish.
There were aspects of this production that were done well, but Studio can do better.
p Jamaica Inn runs until October 12. Tickets and information on 01722 342860 or at studiotheatre.org.uk.
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