top of page

Rebecca | Charing Cross Theatre

Rebecca by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay, two of the most successful German-language musical theatre composers, has its English Language Premier at London's Charing Cross Theatre. Rebecca tells the story of wealthy Maxim De Winter, who brings his naïve new wife home to his Cornish estate, Manderley. There, his manipulative house keeper, Mrs Danvers, resents the new wife’s intrusion and tries to convince her that she is an unworthy replacement for the first Mrs De Winter (the glamorous and mysterious Rebecca who perished in a drowning accident, with tragic results.)

The whole cast must be commended for their incredible talent and commitment to their role, but a mention must go to the standout performance of Kara Lane as Mrs Danvers. She completely embodied her role as the mysterious and unassuming character. Her incredible vocals, particularly in the title song ‘Rebecca’, was so powerful and beautiful, with the added layers of vocals from the ensemble that elevated the whole performance.

Richard Carson played Maxim de Winter, and not only does he look perfect for the part (exactly as we envision Maxim to look like), but he was another stand out performer for me. Having the right mix of emotion, vulnerability and stature in his acting, which worked really well. The ensemble work must be commended here and they are a key part of the show. Not only do they multi roll and play different characters, but they also support the musical numbers through the incredible harmonies off stage.

They also make really good use of the small space they have at the theatre, designed by Nicky Shaw. There's really clever use of the ensemble changing the set through folding and turning the walls and backdrops, and this meant that the small stage could transform into different settings. Another really good use of the space and set was the use of projection (Matt Powell) to amplify the set and make the setting come to life.

Director Alejandro Bonatto has cleverly directed this show to use the auditorium to bring an immersive feel to the production. There are lots of moments when the cast entered through the auditorium doors and walked through the audience, which helped immerse the audience into the action, adding more depth to the performances.

The music, composed by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay, adds to the overall grandeur of the show with some very impressive orchestrations played by an 18-piece orchestra. This is something not found very often at the Charing Cross Theatre but it worked very well for this production and elevated both the music and the overall production.

Overall, Rebecca is a very extravagant and classy, yet intimate and powerful show which utilises the smaller space very well. However, I would love to see it, and think it would work much better, in a bigger theatre where it can be as big and grand as the Vienna production.

Rebecca runs at the Charing Cross Theatre until the 18th November. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


{AD | gifted} Written by Mark Hobbs | Photography by Mark Senior.


bottom of page