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The Lovely Bones

© Sheila Burnett

The Lovely Bones
The New Wolsey Theatre

A play with no interval. Interesting, I wonder why?

The interval would have caused a break in the captivating production and may have damaged the spell-binding performances for the audience. There was no natural break in the story to have an interval and to be honest, I was so engrossed from start to finish, I didn’t notice.

I haven’t read the book or seen the film, not quite sure why it passed me by, but neither or both are not prerequisites for going to see the stage production.

The story of a murdered teenager, Susie Salmon, where the investigation is eventually closed after no evidence, no real suspects and no body is found. She remains in the in-between world for years while she can’t pass over: she can’t let go of the world and it can’t let go of her. It is the story of Susie watching the lives of the people she loves trying to move on, those that can’t move on and are stuck with the loss, and those still trying to find some kind of evidence to re-open the case.

Susie isn’t ready to move on either, even with her junior heaven social worker helping, she stays with the earth world trying to breach it to get them to hear her, trying to get them close to where her body can be found, trying to help them find clues in order to arrest the murderer. As time goes on, people move on.

Being in the transitional world between earth and heaven can lead to some more unusual surreal moments, and with those moments when the thin line between the two worlds when they can hear/see across the void. Is that when we see ghosts? Or is our desire to see our lost loves ones so strong it really is our projection of our imagination?

The set is simple: no moving stage scenery, but the props, lighting, effects, mirrors, sounds and acting is so compelling you can barely take your eyes off the stage. There is plenty to see as many scenes are portrayed and the surreal moments are excellently executed.

The actors were all magnificent, yet special credit goes to Charlotte Beaumont who played Susie – she was on stage for the whole performance.

If you’ve only read the book I am sure you’ll be very happy with the production and how they have portrayed your imagination, and if you have seen the film I am sure you will not be disappointed in how they have used the visual effects within the theatre. The actors truly brought this story to life (or death) and I don’t want to go and see the film as I enjoyed this version so much. It hit my emotions and I was enthralled from the first moment when we jumped out of our seats.

Highly recommended.