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THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Adapted from the Victor Hugo novel by Neil Duffield
Premiere production: The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster (2006)
Minimum cast 8.
What the press said....
‘In adapting the novel for the stage, Neil Duffield has remained remarkably faithful to the author's initial intention, whose conversion from Bonapartist to radical Republican during the upheavals of 19th-century France not only shaped an acute social conscience but also earned him the status of national hero.
With a stroke of theatrical genius, the Age of Light and Dark descends as the audience takes its seat amid a sea of cloaked humanity winding its way around an austere set to the smell of incense and the sound of medieval plainsong.
From this point on, love and pleasure mix with pain and death in equal measure as the rope casts its menacing shadow over the gothic city dominated by the gargoyles of Notre Dame Cathedral, where the elite and wealthy church and the seedy, impoverished underworld rub shoulders.
This is a faultless production where the versatile set, evocative music and atmospheric lighting blend with a cast who have a seamless affinity with their characters to form an integral whole that is nothing short of brilliant.
For Ian Hastings as director, this must be his finest hour. His collaboration with the writer Duffield and the local educational dance company Ludus Dance is inspirational and sets a standard that will take some beating. This is a production that helps establish the Dukes as a major playor in provincial theatre and an example of best practice in municipal enterprise. Hugo would be well pleased.'
THE MORNING STAR Oct 2006
'.....does Victor Hugo's novel full justice in this satisfying and impressive performance.....If the main character is Notre Dame itself (hugo's 1831 novel was actually called Notre Dame de Paris)...the human characters are not far behind; the vulnerable Esmeralda fascinates four men - the actor and playwright Pierre Gringoire, the archdeacon Claude Frollo, the attractive but unscrupulous soldier Phoebus, and the hunchback bellringer Quasimodo..... This was a performance which clearly took the audience with it and which culminated in rapturous applause.'
LANCASTER GUARDIAN Nov 2006
Duffield's take on the story was fascinating. A scene in which Quasimodo
was whipped moved me to tears....
THE VISITOR Oct 2006
©2002 Neil Duffield, All Rights Reserved.