PRESENTED BY SCREEN NEXT THE SEA
at Alderman Peel School, Market Lane,Wells NR23 1RB
Dir: William Oldroyd. Cast: Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie and Christopher Fairbank.
Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth was the inspiration for the 1865 Russian novel Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, which itself has been adapted and transferred from Russia to the North East of England in the 19th Century. The story concerns Katherine (Pugh), a beautiful 17 year old woman who has been married off as part of a land deal to the much older Alexander (Hilton), the morose and inadequate son of the wealthy and controlling Boris, (Fairbank) a mine owner. It is he who rules the roost and insists on Katherine being a demure and submissive wife. With both men absent on business for long periods Katherine feels imprisoned in a stark and remote manor house. She is, however, a young woman of spirit and the inevitable occurs when she starts a passionate affair with the estate’s groomsman (Jarvis), a handsome man of mixed race. While there are some echoes of Lady Chatterley, the denouement is very different in this no holds barred Victorian melodrama – “a lusty, jawdroppingly bodice ripper” – Tim Robey, The Telegraph