YOU may have seen the film but this punchy new adaptation of Stephen King’s novella by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns is a revelation.
* * * * * *
The Assembly Rooms
Andy Dufresne is sent to Shawshank prison, convicted of the murder of his wife and her lover but maintains that he is innocent.
Amid the violence and despair of a collection of men that have lost hope, Andy fights to preserve his good name.
This is a stunning production. Set, lights and sound are deployed masterfully by director Lucy Pitman-Wallace. But the cast are the real stars.
Kyle Secor as Andy is tremendous, conveying a consistent tranquillity and a deep humanity amid the boisterous, vicious misery of the other inmates.
Omid Djalili, perhaps better known as a comedian, brings an endearing warmth to Red, the man who “can get stuff” and the story’s narrator.
There are no weak links in this ensemble, a combination of well-known stand-up comedians and actors.
Ian Lavender is heart-rending as librarian Brooksie and Jack Monaghan as Tommy brings a captivating, wide-eyed innocence to the story.
Fans of the film may feel cheated that the plot has been condensed, but for fans of a well-told story, this timeless tale of a man who clings onto hope amid the gloom it is a treat.
Until 25 August