Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 15 January 2018

Interview: The Turn of the Screw Director Talks To His Producer Ahead Of Southwick Show

Gary Cook, director of the Southwick Players upcoming production of The Turn of the Screw, talks to his producer Anita Jones about the play.
See Foot Of Article For Photo Credits

Anita Jones: Gary, firstly can you tell us a bit about the play?

Gary Cook: It's a truly classic ghost story - not a horror story, no blood and guts, just shadows and ideas. It's based on the Henry James novella of the same name - simply put, and not to give too much away, a naive young governess arrives at a county house to look after two orphaned children. At first, all seems well, but…

AJ: So it's a haunted house story?

GC: At its heart, yes. Although the original has been subject to endless debate - centering around the sanity or otherwise of the governess, and the exact nature of the evil she encounters. The text brings up many interpretations, from the supernatural to the frankly awful…

AJ: What can we expect in terms of style?

GC: I've aimed to present it as a very visual show - I've always had in mind the old BBC "Ghost Story at Christmas" look and feel - where ideas matter just as much as the suggested "horrors". I think that's very much in keeping with James' original intention.

AJ: How have you interpreted the ideas?

GC: With the fantastic cast we've assembled, we've really worked together on getting to the heart of the text and incorporating lots of different ideas into a coherent whole - we really want the audience to make up their own minds on what they are seeing, while not being obscure.

AJ: But will we see the ghosts?
G:C Oh yes!

AJ: So is this not for children?

GC: Hmm, I'd be happy for any age to see it to be honest (laughs) though of course not real youngsters. I first saw "The Innocents" (the classic film based on The Turn of the Screw) when I was around 10 or 11. It was probably a formative experience for me, and along with "Oliver!" got me interested in the visual side of storytelling. With the help of Martin Oakley, my very talented set designer, and his lovely set, I'm very much trying to bring that high-contrast monochrome look of a 1960s thriller film to the Barn Theatre.

AJ: The old question - why should someone come and see the play?

GC: It's a spine-chilling story, presented in a very visual way with a team of outstanding actors and a passionate vision. Genuinely thrilling to be involved in - and to watch!
Southwick's lovely Barn Theatre is a great space, just 15 minutes from Brighton and Worthing - with free car parking, and tickets priced at just £11.

The Turn Of The Screw runs from 7-10 March 2018 at the Barn Theatre, Southwick Street, Southwick BN42 4TE. Tickets are on sale now from 01273 597094 or - CLICK HERE for more info.

Featured Photo: L-R back row Nikki Dunsford, Andrew Wesby
L-R front row Kate Stoner, Bertie Atkinson, Nina Hayward, Keziah Israel

by: Mike Cobley


"We're from the days when a number 14 bus and a supermarket trolley got us around." Soul II Soul mainman Jazzie B remembers the lengths he and a school friend used to go to play dances with their first sound system when they were just thirteen years old.

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of Paul Weller's first album, In The City, which he released with The Jam in May 1977.

In anticipation of International Women's Day and to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act - which gave many women the vote in UK for the first time -  Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), Brighton, will host a panel debate on women in creative leadership.  

Brighton's contemporary art gallery Fabrica has launched a crowdfunding appeal to rescue its finances in light of recent funding cuts which threaten the organisation’s future. 
Peace Pic (c) Jonnie Craig 2018

Indie rock quartet Peace have released stand-alone track, Power, a unifying anthem between the band and their fans at their notoriously raucous and tribal live shows; this is Peace 2.0; new label, new tunes and a sure fire statement of intent from the four-piece.

The Netherlands has been chosen as the lead international partner for The Great Escape who will be working alongside the Dutch Music Export to highlight the country's most prominent rising stars.

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival, the UK's only major greenfield jazz festival, today announces a host of acts confirmed to perform at this summer's event, which returns to Glynde Place in East Sussex from June 29th – July 1st 2018.

Split Britches present an up-to-the minute topical interactive show which takes unexploded ordnances as a metaphor for the unexplored potential in us all - particularly elders – and tries to uncover it. 

Albert Hammond Jr's new album Francis Trouble explores a deeply personal topic – the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects that event has had in his life and music. 

Punk. Funk. Rock. Soul. The main ingredients in a potent witch's brew that the Bellrays have been mixing for a long time now.

Brighton Unitarian Church has been awarded a grant of £227,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore its endangered classical Greek frontage, which dates from 1820, and is one of the city centre's finest landmarks.

Star of BBC's Live At The Apollo and The Mash Report, Geoff Norcott takes to the road with his new show following a sell-out season at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Chris Difford is a rare breed. As a member of one of London's best-loved bands, the Squeeze co-founder has made a lasting contribution to English music with hits such as Cool For Cats, Up The Junction, Labelled With Love, Hourglass and Tempted.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd