As I took my seat for last night’s stage adaption of Alice Sebold’s “The Lovely Bones”, I genuinely was unsure of what to expect. Having read the novel as part of my A Level studies, I was aware that the story has a dark undertone; it pretty much starts with a murder scene after all! I was intrigued to discover how the story would be told on stage.
The Lovely Bones tells the story of Susie Salmon, who narrates the tale, who was brutally raped and murdered at the age of 14. Susie watches on from her version of heaven, as the family she left behind struggle to come to terms with her death. We see Susie desperately trying to connect with her family and help them to solve her murder. However no matter how hard she tries or how loud she screams, Susie can’t get through to them, or can she?
The ingenious set design portrays a huge tilted mirror across the back of the stage. Allowing the audience to view the story simultaneously on earth and from a heavenly perspective as Susie sees it.
Charlotte Beaumont delivers an outstanding performance as Susie leading the audience to fall in love with her quirky and vibrant personality. It is this light-hearted performance that helps the audience to deal with the dark themes of murder, rape, adultery and alcoholism. Whilst the production is shockingly raw and honest at times, it simultaneously brought a smile to my face and had me laughing out loud in parts too.
The Lovely Bones captivated my attention right from the abrupt start of the performance. I honestly can’t remember being so enthralled in a stage piece, there was so much happening on stage it was sometimes easy to miss some of the more subtle moments. The performance was gripping, chilling and uplifting all at the same time; highly recommended for a visit I promise you won’t regret.
The Lovely Bones runs at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 6th to 21st September. Tickets start from £15 and can be booked here.
The show then continues on a national tour including Nottingham, Exeter, Norwich, Salford, Kingston, Hackney, Cambridge, Oxford, Guildford and Chichester
Disclaimer: I was invited to the performance of The Lovely Bones for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are entirely my own.
Photographs by Pamela Raith