sat 08/08/2020

The Turn of the Screw, ENO | reviews, news & interviews

The Turn of the Screw, ENO

The Turn of the Screw, ENO

A screw that fails to turn much horror

Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw is first and foremost a psychological horror. And psychological horrors are all about rocking the mental boat. Capsizing the mental boat. Sinking the mental boat. David McVicar’s production of The Turn of the Screw for the English National Opera does not rock the mental boat. He doesn't rock any boat. I'm not sure McVicar is in a boat. He plays the work so supremely safe, so PG-safe, so two-condom safe, that I feel McVicar is nowhere near a boat; I imagine him on dry land, in a deck chair sipping a piña colada, flicking through his Key Stage 1 on rocking the mental boat. The words that first came to mind as I watched the production were: "spooky", Edwardian, safe, yawn, zzz.

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