Nothing Miserable about this cockadoody

Hannah Wood and Ben O'Shaughnessy rehearsing for Misery.
Hannah Wood and Ben O'Shaughnessy rehearsing for Misery.
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We’ve all experienced the January blues, but that’s nothing compared to what’s on at the Titchfield Festival Theatre.

From January 14–24 at 7.30pm, The theatre plays host to a production of Misery by Stephen King, adapted for the stage by Simon Moore.

The directorial debut of Anne Robertson, Misery stars Ben O’Shaughnessy as writer Paul Sheldon and Hannah Wood as his biggest fan – and captor.

The 31-year-old plays psychotic nurse Annie Wilkes, who takes Paul into her isolated house after he injures himself in a car accident and forces him to rewrite his latest novel.

The role was made famous by Kathy Bates, who won an Oscar for her interpretation in the film version.

‘When she did Misery she wasn’t that old either, but Annie has that spinster kind of feel to her – it is this desolation, of being left alone by the world,’ says Hannah.

‘There is a lot of ageing up to do – I teach theatrical makeup at Fareham College so a couple of my students are coming to make me look older, but it is more of a characterisation.

‘Having said that, she is a really physical character to play – she chops wood and owns a farm, she isn’t decrepit.’

This physicality is realised most brutally in the infamous hobbling scene.

‘The hobbling has been kind of difficult to do onstage,’ says Hannah.

‘To do it justice you need fantastic special effects and spurts of blood.

‘But with our adaptation it is a much more subtle suggestion that you would get with thriller films – Paul’s blood-curdling scream for example.

‘Me and Ben are good friends so he doesn’t mind that I’m going to break his ankles.’

In this production, the action takes place on Dartmoor.

‘Both of us have experiences of Dartmoor so we could picture the loneliness of that one little cottage,’ says Hannah.

‘I have been stuck in a snowstorm in Bodmin and it was scary.’

Ben and Hannah have directed three productions together, but recruited Anne to direct this show when acting and directing started to conflict with each other.

‘As directors we got off on the buzz of showing ideas to each other, and that carried through to the acting,’ says Hannah.

‘We had so many creative splurges, so we needed someone else to rein us in and have an objective oversight.’

Tickets: £8-11, call 01329 556156 or visit for more information.