REVIEW: The Remains of the Day (Royal & Derngate) ★★★★★

It’s not often that you witness a play that grips you before it starts. But a dark stage with imposing windows flooded with rain, piques interest immediately.

Classic stories like Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day are often told countless times; the good ones never grow old. As butler Stevens reflects on his life, we see how his decisions were interpreted by others and the consequences of his actions on his current situation.

In this adaptation by Barney Norris, the dialogue reigns supreme. The acting is sublime, with excellent performances from the cast. Stephen Boxer encapsulates Stevens in manner, tone and movement and Niamh Cusack is perfection personified.

But Director Christopher Hayden’s production is brought to life by the excellent staging. Sophie Cotton’s music is eerily reminisce of a life half forgotten, evoking thought with changing pace as scenes flow. The stage lighting (designed by Mark Howland) also enhances this atmospheric production.

It’s not often there is nothing to fault, but this production is as close to perfect as you can get.

Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes
Photo: Iona Firouzabadi

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