Writer: Dan Brown
Adaptor: Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel
Director: Luke Sheppard
The Da Vinci Code is very popular book and had a successful film adaptation released 2006. It tells the story of lecturer Robert Langdon and cryptographer Sophie Neveu and how they get caught up in the murder of the curator of the Louvre. It is thrilling and incredibly fast-paced, which can make it slightly difficult to keep up with at times for audience members who haven’t read the book or seen the film, but it is very enjoyable and very much keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Luke Sheppard directs and does a great job at staging this play featuring so many locations. There are almost enough moments of character development but it never sits still long enough to get bored. Some relationships and characters could have been developed a little bit more – a little bit more of Robert Langdon’s backstory, in particular, wouldn’t have gone amiss. David Woodhead’s set design is fantastic: fairly simple but depicting the large number of different settings very well. Andrzej Goulding’s video design assists with this as well, with some impressive projections throughout.
The cast is led by Nigel Harman as Langdon, alongside Hannah Rose Caton as Neveu. Harman’s performance is strong, bringing a good amount of vulnerability into the piece too. Caton is exceptional in the play, making her UK theatrical debut. She has a brilliant stage presence and her performance is completely captivating. Neveu and Langdon have an interesting onstage relationship to watch unfold and it is refreshing to see a play where there is minimal romance.
Danny John-Jules portrays Sir Leigh Teabing’s different sides of the character very well. Some of the twists and turns along the way come by complete surprise. Alasdair Buchan gives a great performance as Remy, Teabing’s butler. He also plays the twists well, although the incredibly fast-moving nature of Act Two can make it difficult to keep up with what who has done.
Joshua Lacey’s performance as Silas is outstanding. His intensity is brilliant, and it makes the character’s actions difficult to watch at times (in the best possible way). His scenes with Debra Michaels as Sister Sandrine are very enjoyable to watch. Michaels matches Lacey’s intensity perfectly. Basienka Blake is enjoyable in her moments as Vernet and other characters – I would have liked to see more of her. Andrew Lewis as Sauniere is enjoyable to watch and his onstage chemistry with Caton is heart-warming and believable.
The Da Vinci Code has a fantastic cast and is thrilling, whilst not being too intense. It can be difficult to keep up at times, so some knowledge of the plot before seeing the play may help. It is definitely worth seeing when the show is near you – it’s an honour to have actors of the calibre in our local theatres.
Runs until 29th January 2021