Richmond Theatre – until 8 February 2020
Reviewed by Carly Burlinge
3 ½ ***
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier, adapted by Joseph O’Connor and directed by Anthony Banks, is set in Cornwall. At the Ashley Estate where Rachel Coryn Ashley (Helen George) makes the journey back from Florence to the home of her recently deceased husband Lord Ashley, to return all his worldly possessions to the estate as well as wanting to visit his childhood home and feel a connection towards him now that he is gone.
She plays a very distraught character at times, as well as playing a very calm and collective role throughout the show. She reminisces over her former life with Lord Ashley talking about him dearly to Estate Servant John Seecombe (Sean Murray) who has served Lord Ashley for 40 years. He plays a fantastic role in being very loyal, pleasant and knowledgeable also quite the philosopher always offering his opinions about life and people and working alongside Thomas Connors (John Lumsden), the younger servant of the house that plays a courageous but cheeky character throughout.
Although her cousin Philip Ashley (Jack Holden) is heir to the Ashley Home he is struggling with the death of his guardian. He plays a part that seems somewhat misplaced around her, does not hold much trust in her and is convinced she has something to hide. Although whilst her stay at the Estate Philip Ashley (Jack Holden) later finds himself drawn towards her and his perception of her changes. He plays an erratic character at times and seems to be quite infatuated by her falling for her charms making this a classic gothic romance.
This production offers a fantastic set with some dramatic music played to highlight some of the more darker scenes along with some superb lighting, giving the whole set an eerie atmosphere. Along with its sweeping staircase and its rotational stage offering something different whilst fascinating to watch.