The Exorcist at the Birmingham Rep – Gloriously chilling

From the moment the lights are suddenly switched off, plunging the theatre into total darkness, to the minute the final curtain goes down, the theatre version of Williams Peter Blatty’s supernatural horror ‘The Exorcist’, currently terrifying wowing audiences at the Birmingham Rep, never lets up on the uneasy tension. The story of 10 year old Regan whose body and soul is overtaken by a terrifying entity that may just be the devil, has been striking fear into movie audiences for more than 40 years. And now it has been transformed into a truly spellbinding, horrifying theatre experience that is just perfect for those who enjoy their entertainment to be on the dark side.

adam-garcia-as-father-damien-karras-clare-louise-connolly-as-regan-and-peter-bowles-as-father-merrin-in-the-exorcist

copyright credit: ROBERT DAY

As someone who has never actually watched the film in its entirety, I had no preconceptions before the play, although I had certainly heard of certain iconic and notorious scenes.  I was intrigued to see how the theatre version would work, with a compact cast of 8 talented actors, and the action kept to just one house. What we get is a claustrophobic masterclass in creating tension and horror, with a cast that is clearly at the top of its game, with clear, crisp characterisations,  standout scenes that linger uncomfortably in the mind long after you leave the theatre, and a play that now stands on its own merits as a piece of impeccable, excellent theatre.

As Regan, the 10 year old protagonist, Clare Louise Connolly is chilling and heartbreaking. She fully conveys the frightened, desperate little girl, but her mannerisms and actions as she is further possessed are just brilliant. Jenny Seagrove also excels as her mother Chris, a movie actress and single parent who is trying her best to convince people that her child is possessed, and not just mad or disturbed. Her exchanges with Adam Garcia in the role of young priest Father Damien Karras are filled with a frantic desperation, as Karras tries to use reason to convince the mother that her child needs a hospital rather than an exorcism.

copyright credit: ROBERT DAY

copyright credit: ROBERT DAY

Adam Garcia is brilliant, one of a trio of priests trying to help the stricken girl. He is perfect at conveying an haunted man struggling wit his faith following the death of his mother. Peter Bowles has quiet authority as Father Merrin, and the final scene with the two priests and Regan is an emotionally draining experience. There is also a scene stealing performance from Tristram Wymark as Uncle Burke – his ultimate scene with Regan is one of ultimate terror and shock. The cast is nicely rounded out by Todd Boyce and Joseph Wilkins who are both excellent in their roles.

copyright credit: ROBERT DAY

copyright credit: ROBERT DAY

The special effects are wonderful, with perfect use of smoke and sounds to create the creepy, frightfulness that totally pervades this play from beginning to end. The Exorcist is one of those plays which creates tension in every single scene, and really is the perfect viewing during Halloween season.

The Exorcist

Topshop Halloween Edit

Halloween is fast becoming one of the most anticipated days (or nights!) of the year. From being a night that saw children doing a little trick or treating, it has become a celebration for all the family, with all ages getting themselves dressed up in costumes, enjoying parties, club nights and scary movies on what it the spookiest of all nights.

Topshop does an Halloween edit every year, famously supplying Zoe Ball’s Strictly Halloween dress which resembled a mummy, and this year they have once again surpassed themselves, with a collection that truly stretches from the sublime to the hilarious. Lace headpieces and masks, socks with bats and ghost motifs and this year’s skeleton bodycon dress are all perfect additions to Halloween wardrobes, but there are also glamorous pieces that would work for Halloween, and then could be slinky, sensuous choices for Christmas party season. Velvet leggings have that Catwoman feel, whilst the stunning Laser cut bardo prom dress is a dead ringer for Self Portrait and is an absolute beauty of a frock.

If you like to keep your Halloween fashion touches to a minimum, you can focus on accessories. I tend not to dress up at Halloween, keeping everything gothic with black eye make up, lace and leather. I love the black widow lipstick and the gram flared heeled shoes which are so on trend in this season’s velvet.

Whatever you have planned for Halloween this year, Topshop is well worth checking out.

Topshop Halloween Edit

Skeleton Bodycon Dress £28.00 Click to visit Topshop

Skeleton Bodycon Dress £28.00 Click to visit Topshop

 

Cat Ear Mask Hairband £12.00 Click to visit Topshop

Cat Ear Mask Hairband £12.00 Click to visit Topshop

Lace Face Mask £7.00 Click to visit Topshop

Lace Face Mask £7.00 Click to visit Topshop

Glitter Bat Ankle Socks £3.50 Click to visit Topshop

Glitter Bat Ankle Socks £3.50 Click to visit Topshop

Laser Cut Bardot Prom Dress £150.00 Click to visit Topshop

Laser Cut Bardot Prom Dress £150.00 Click to visit Topshop

Lips in Black Widow £8.00 Click to visit Topshop

Lips in Black Widow £8.00 Click to visit Topshop

Lace Trim Slip Dress £32.00 Click to visit Topshop

Lace Trim Slip Dress £32.00 Click to visit Topshop

Fringe Tassel Choker £14.00 Click to visit Topshop

Fringe Tassel Choker £14.00 Click to visit Topshop

Velvet Leggings £19.00 Click to visit Topshop

Velvet Leggings £19.00 Click to visit Topshop

Boo To You Ankle Socks £3.50 Click to visit Topshop

Boo To You Ankle Socks £3.50 Click to visit Topshop

Velvet Slouch Dungaree £59.00 Click to visit Topshop

Velvet Slouch Dungaree £59.00 Click to visit Topshop

Feather Wings £50.00 Click to visit Topshop

Feather Wings £50.00 Click to visit Topshop

GRAM Flared Heel Shoes £50.00 Click to visit Topshop

GRAM Flared Heel Shoes £50.00 Click to visit Topshop

HAIRY-HARRY Fur Ankle Boots £69.00 Click to visit Topshop

HAIRY-HARRY Fur Ankle Boots £69.00 Click to visit Topshop

Two Strap Satin Midi Dress £60.00 Click to visit Topshop

Two Strap Satin Midi Dress £60.00 Click to visit Topshop

To view all the Topshop Halloween edit, click here.

I’m going to finish this post in the traditional Halloween way. One of my favourite spook films is 1980s classic ‘The Lost Boys’ and I love the Echo and the Bunnymen version of ‘People are Strange’. Enjoy.

 

Spooky style from Topshop

It’s a fact – Halloween dressing up is no longer just for the kids. These days, Halloween is a hot date on the social calender, with parties being gothically, glamorous occasions and the perfect excuse for donning the deepest of red lips, the blackest of Kohl and the slinkiest of dresses.

I have never, as an adult, dressed up for Halloween. But all this is going to change this year. I’m going to a Halloween party for the first time in years, and have picked out a Morticia Adams style wig, a purple witches hat, and a gorgeous long black dress and boots for my witchy costume. For those who are still on the lookout for an outfit for Halloween, or those who always like their fashion to be from the ‘darkside’, Topshop have some great pieces that really evoke the fun spirit of the creepiest night of the year.

Topshop have a great ‘fright night’ pieces this year, from cobweb style tights, very cute cat print socks and animal print kitty ears. There are also the sexier fabrics, snakeskin style lace, 1990s negligee dresses in silk effect and a good smattering of luxurious velvet.

Take a look at some of my favourite pieces for the most frightening night of the year.

Monster Bandage Bodycon Dress     Price: £29.00 click to visit Topshop

Monster Bandage Bodycon Dress
Price: £29.00 click to visit Topshop

Black Webbed Tights     Price: £8.50 click to visit Topshop

Black Webbed Tights
Price: £8.50 click to visit Topshop

Faux Fur Cat Ears     Price: £1.00 click to visit Topshop

Faux Fur Cat Ears
Price: £1.00 click to visit Topshop

Digital Bat Kitten Ankle Socks     Price: £3.50 click to visit Topshop

Digital Bat Kitten Ankle Socks
Price: £3.50 click to visit Topshop

Beaded Drape Choker     Price: £16.50 click to visit Topshop

Beaded Drape Choker
Price: £16.50 click to visit Topshop

Lace Yoke Tee     Price: £38.00 click to visit Topshop

Lace Yoke Tee
Price: £38.00 click to visit Topshop

Satin Maxi Dress     Price: £55.00 click to visit Topshop

Satin Maxi Dress
Price: £55.00 click to visit Topshop

Velvet Lace Shorts     Price: £36.00 click to visit Topshop

Velvet Lace Shorts
Price: £36.00 click to visit Topshop

MAGNUM Glitter Ankle Boots     Price: £82.00 click to visit Topshop

MAGNUM Glitter Ankle Boots
Price: £82.00 click to visit Topshop

Snake Lace Shirt     Price: £48.00 click to visit Topshop

Snake Lace Shirt
Price: £48.00 click to visit Topshop

REBEL Glitter Heels     Price: £48.00 click to visit Topshop

REBEL Glitter Heels
Price: £48.00 click to visit Topshop

Glow In The Dark Tights     Price: £10.00 click to visit Topshop

Glow In The Dark Tights
Price: £10.00 click to visit Topshop

PU Hem Bodycon Dress     Price: £42.00 click to visit Topshop

PU Hem Bodycon Dress
Price: £42.00 click to visit Topshop

Square Neck Midi Bodycon Dress     Price: £32.00 click to visit Topshop

Square Neck Midi Bodycon Dress
Price: £32.00 click to visit Topshop

To view all the Halloween choices from Topshop, click here.

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