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Carli Norris and Maggie McCarthy to Star in TURN OF THE SCREW


Carli Norris and Maggie McCarthy to Star in TURN OF THE SCREW

This spring sees the world premiere of a dynamic new adaptation of Turn of the Screw embark on a UK tour, starring Carli Norris (Pygmalion, Albery Theatre; EastEnders, BBC; Hollyoaks, Channel 4) and Maggie McCarthy (Children of the Sun, Cocktail Sticks and Mother Clap's Molly House, National Theatre; Doctors, BBC; Call the Midwife, BBC/Neal Street Productions; Attack the Block, Film 4; Calendar Girls, Touchstone Pictures). This thrilling production of Henry James' much-loved classic ghost story is faithful to the original and captures its much-celebrated ambiguity.

Set in 1840, a young governess agrees to look after two orphans, a boy and a girl, in Bly, a seemingly idyllic country house. But, shortly after her arrival, she realises that they are not alone. There are others - the ghosts of Bly's troubled past. The Governess will risk everything to keep the children safe, even if it means giving herself up to The Others. Years later, confronted by the past she is compelled to account for what actually happened to her and those under her protection.

Henry James' original novella ends with a cliffhanger where the boy dies in the Governess' arms and the reader is left to draw their own conclusions. The prologue is not so puzzling; James informs the reader that the Governess wrestled with these troubling experiences for most of her life until she had to write them down shortly before her death. Tim Luscombe's brilliant new adaptation dramatises the passage of time in a thrilling and surprising way whilst remaining completely true to James' story.

Combining a framing of a story within another and employing one of the first uses of the unreliable narrator, Henry James created a unique sense of uncertainty and ambiguity for the reader. Consequently Turn of the Screw has been much debated since its publication in 1898, having defined the genre of psychological horror. It has been the source for many adaptations on stage and screen including the film The Others.

Dermot McLaughlin comments, I was inspired by the success of the stage adaptation of Susan Hill's much loved novel The Woman in Black and in researching the debt that Hill's novel owes to Henry James I got lost in the intriguing world of Bly and The Governess's psyche. I found Turn of the Screw a compelling story with fascinating female characters. The context of this troubled woman committing to paper her terrifying and inexplicable experiences so long after the event was intriguing and moving. The why's and wherefore's of that psychology seemed very interesting dramatic territory. The tension between the past and the struggle to resign oneself to past actions presents a recognisable emotional state for us all. Tim Luscombe has realised my idea brilliantly and I'm excited to be able to bring it to audiences on tour.

Turn of the Screw was conceived and commissioned by Dermot McLaughlin (a Stage One alumni and recipient of a Stage One Bursary for New Productions), adapted by Tim Luscombe (The Schuman Plan, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion) and will be directed by Daniel Buckroyd (artistic director of The Mercury Theatre, credits include Spamalot, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Clybourne Park, End of the Rainbow). Originating at The Mercury Theatre Colchester with set and costumes created by their in-house teams, the production will be co-produced by Dermot McLaughlin Productions, The Mercury Theatre Colchester and Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.

Tickets are available from individual theatre box offices

Carli Noris graduated from RADA in 1997, making her professional debut playing Eliza Doolittle in the West End production of Pygmalion at the Albery Theatre. She then made her TV debut playing the title role in the ITV adaptation of Catherine Cookson's Tilly Trotter. Carli is very familiar to TV audiences for playing Belinda Slater in EastEnders and Fran Reynolds in Holby City. Other regular roles on TV include playing Martha Kane in Hollyoaks and Anoushka Flynn in Doctors. Guest roles include Watson and Oliver, BBC; My Family, BBC; Fanny Hill, BBC; The Last Detective, ITV; Murder in Suburbia, ITV; Diamond Geezer, ITV; Drive, BBC; Where The Heart Is, ITV; Grafters, Granada TV; The Mrs Bradley Mysteries, ITV; Shane, ITV; and Agatha Raisin, Sky. Theatre credits include: Beautiful Thing, Sound Theatre; The Rivals, Bristol Old Vic; How The Other Half Loves, National Tour; One For The Pot, Theatre Royal Windsor; The Chiltern Hundreds, Vaudeville Theatre and Just The Three Of Us, UK Tour.

Maggie McCarthy's theatre credits include Heroine, HighTide Festival and Theatre Clwyd; Silver Lining, English Touring Theatre & Rose Theatre Kingston; We Wait in Joyful Hope, Theatre 503; Juno and the Paycock, Bristol Old Vic & Liverpool Theatres; Private Lives, Chichester Festival Theatre; Absence of War, Headlong, Rose Theatre, Kingston & Sheffield Theatres. National Theatre credits include Children of the Sun, Cocktail Sticks and Mother Clap's Molly House. Recent television credits include Dancing On The Edge, BBC; Doctors, BBC; Call the Midwife, BBC/Neal Street Productions and Coronation Street, Granada Television. Film credits include The Little Stranger, Potboiler Productions; Angela's Ashes, David Brown Production; Attack the Block, Film 4; The History Boys, BBC Films; Calendar Girls, Touchstone Pictures and soon to be released Ghost Stories, Warp Films.

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