"An imaginative, poignant stage adaptation"
by Jill Lawrie for remotegoat on 27/11/19

Currently showing in Chichester is an imaginative and poignant stage adaption by Bryony Lavery of Alice Sebold’s 2002 debut novel “The Lovely Bones”. The global best-selling novel moves between heaven and earth following the shocking, brutal rape and murder of a young teenage girl named Susie Salmon. The disturbing, multi-layered story though raw and harrowing at times is also punctuated with positivity, redemption and recreation as lives are rebuilt following the aftermath of this family bereavement. Susie, observing her family’s grief from heaven, struggles to move on while her killer is at large and her father becomes obsessively consumed with identifying the murderer. She watches as her parents’ relationship falls apart and her younger sister begins to explore her sexuality, yet she is trapped in her own perfect world.

The creative team of Melly Still (Director), Ana Ines Jabares-Pita (Designer) and Matt Haskins (Lighting Designer) have worked wonders with split levels, mirrors and reflections to produce a hugely imaginative and creative setting for these two worlds. A talented ensemble play the various characters ensuring this complex theatrical production is never too disturbing and even bring laughter into the mix.

Fine support comes from Leigh Lothian taking the role of Fanny Connors, a weird, geeky school friend grappling with her poetic nature and sensitive connection to the young victim but the standout performance comes from Charlotte Beaumont as the slaughtered girl Susie Salmon. On stage throughout she is impassioned as her emotions switch from frustration, kindness, anger and disappointment, cut off in her prime and unable to move on until her abductor and murderer is brought to justice.

This reflection on life and death is deeply moving, a sharp observational picture of human natures healing powers in the face of such tragedy.

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