Review: The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption. Photo by Jack Merriman
The Shawshank Redemption. Photo by Jack Merriman

THE Shawshank Redemption at the Everyman is a masterclass in story telling.

For anyone who is not aware of Stephen King’s brilliant story which was immortalised in the film starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman and went on to become one of the best films ever made, the stage version did not disappoint.

This is a story of hope, of friendship, of uniting against an unjust prison regime starring the brilliant Joe Absolom as financial wiz Andy Dufresne who is sent down for the double murder of his wife and her lover.

The quiet accountant is befriended by long time inmate Ellis Red Redding played by the equally amazing Ben Onwukwe who guides him into the tough and often horrific life at the Shank prison.

It is the beginning of a 20 year incarceration inside a clever and penetrating set designed by Gary McCann which worked well as prison.

There is violence and strong language which is necessary and terrifying for theatre goers in this all male production.

Music from the different eras helps create the illusion of time going by as the men struggle to survive in harsh prison conditions.

The power of friendship is central to the play and each character played their part well in this respect.

There is something magical about watching actors performing a wonderful story live and the audience left the theatre feeling uplifted and entertained at the same time.

A five star performance all round for the Everyman.