Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca is a timeless classic; a Gothic mystery full of jealousy, secrets and lies.
More than 75 years after it was first published, the novel has been adapted for the stage numerous times and transferred to the big screen in Alfred Hitchcock’s Oscar-winning film.
It’s hardly surprising, then, that the novel has never gone out of print.
Now Kneehigh Theatre has re-created Rebecca, which comes to the Mayflower.
Following the mysterious death of his first wife, Maxim De Winter returns to the Manderley estate with his young bride. Surrounded by memories of the glamorous Rebecca, the new Mrs De Winter is consumed by jealousy. She sets out to uncover the secrets of the house and a past fiercely guarded by the sinister housekeeper Mrs Danvers.
Imogen Sage, who plays Mrs De Winter, says the show is a psychological drama which explores a range of complex characters.
‘Our version really focuses on the female characters in the play.’
‘Emma Rice, the director, really wanted to make it a celebration of the different aspects of femininity.’
Set in the fictional Cornish estate of Manderley during the 1930s, the stage is transformed into that period through the costumes, music and set.
‘Although it is based in the ’30s, we have mixed it up with a modern take,’ says Imogen.
Tim Lutkin, the lighting designer, re-creates the iconic scene of the burning house using a beautiful array of lights, which will definitely astonish the audienceImogen Sage
‘That’s not the only change in our adaptation either. Without giving too much away, the audience can expect quite a lot of surprises in the play.
‘Tim Lutkin, the lighting designer, re-creates the iconic scene of the burning house using a beautiful array of lights, which will definitely astonish the audience.’
She adds: ‘Our Rebecca is an incredibly entertaining night at the theatre. It’s a mix of comedy, thrills and mystery and incorporates both new and original ideas.’
Rebecca is at Mayflower Theatre from Monday, November 30 – Saturday, December 5. Visit mayflower.org.uk to book tickets.