The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at Malvern Festival Theatre

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at Malvern Festival Theatre

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Posted 2021-11-03 by Alison in Birmingham follow

Tue 02 Nov 2021 - Sat 06 Nov 2021

With a hugely respected chilling novel and an impressive Johnny Depp movie Sleepy Hollow already done on this creepy tale, there are big shoes to fill when it comes to adapting it to stage.



Tilted Wig productions has given it a go with a new production of The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow that is on tour featuring TV stars from Coronation Street and Skins.

This thriller is a new adaptation of the American gothic story by Washington Irving set in the small town of Sleepy Hollow, where the legend of a Headless Horseman keeps everyone in check.

I caught The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow at Malvern Theatres, where it stays for the week until Saturday November 6.

At the centre of the tale is new town teacher Ichabod Crane but this place is full of secrets, including his own. Sam Jackson from Skins has a presence on stage as Ichabod along with a decent American accent, which the whole cast does throughout the 2h 30 play.



Most of the cast switch between several roles, which gives Coronation Street's Wendi Peters and Bill Ward the chance to show their acting range beyond the cobbles of Wetherfield. They are both enthusiastic on stage, slipping into various accents and people, but these sometimes verge on caricatures.

Tommy Sim'aan from Doctors comes across slightly more naturally on stage while Rose Quentin as the young woman Ichabod is obsessed with catches the attention and seems like one to watch.

Playwright Philip Meeks has done the adaptation that starts off promisingly with an eerie carved pumpkin centre stage but descends into clich├ęs of sounds of children singing nursery rhymes and the like.



It's slow to get going and never reaches a thrilling climax. What promised to be chilling, never ends up being intense or scary. Added to that, it's confusing too and ends up being 'a lot of noise' as one unimpressed theatre-goer moaned at the interval.

I think the director wanted it to be based on ghost stories being told around a campfire but it ends up very wordy and even dull at times.



It's a shame as the actors are fully committed and give good performances for the material they have been given. Lewis Cope as Brom is another young talent that in the mix.

There are also some stronger sequences, such as when they play out a folk tale using shadows behind a curtain.

The real issue is that this production lacks pace, intensity and any chilling suspense - something that was present in the film and the book.

Rating: & #9733 ;& #9733 ;& #9734 ;& #9734 ;& #9734 ;

Tuesday 2nd - Saturday 6th November
Evenings at 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm

#theatre
#theatre -reviews
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!date 02/11/2021 -- 06/11/2021
%wnbirmingham
70534 - 2023-01-26 01:47:34

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