“Rebus: Long Shadows”
Nottingham Theatre Royal
Nottingham Theatre Royal
“Rebus: Long Shadows” is written by Ian Rankin and Rona Munro and is an instalment of Rankin's Inspector Rebus series, written for the stage for the first time in 2018.
The play received its world premiere at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 20 September 2018 and this week it’s at the Nottingham Theatre Royal and stars Charles Lawson (Jim McDonald from Coronation Street), John Stahl and Cathy Tyson.
The retired Detective John Rebus has many secrets, one of which is about to come home to roost as he again clashes with local gangster Big Ger Cafferty, played by John Stahl. The ghosts of previous cases come back to haunt him, but will he be able to exorcise his ghosts and get the answers he needs?
Rebus comes into contact with the daughter of a woman murdered in 2001-- a case which has never been solved. She challenges him to resolve the case, and so he turns to his old colleague Siobhan Clarke. This leads to contact with Big Ger Cafferty, a notorious Glaswegian criminal who seems to know some of the answers. This in turn throws up more problems for Clarke as well as Rebus..
I,like most of the audience I expect, know Lawson from Coronation Street and not much else of late, so would he be seen as Jim McDonald on stage or Detective Rebus played by Jim McDonald, played by Charles Lawson?
I, unlike, probably most of the audience have never read Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels, so this, as far as I can remember, is my introduction to the character, or have I seen Rebus before in the Classic thriller Season, mmm maybe!
Lawson plays Rebus, from what I've been told, very typical and loyal to Rankin's Rebus. Having no preconception of the detective, this was a learning curve for me, and you know what, I'm so pleased that I didn't have the prior knowledge, because it was a fascinating education learning about the man. A man flawed but a people's hero.
Adopting a Scottish accent, I really didn't see Jim McDonald, I saw the Rebus that Lawson painted. A tribute to Lawson's acting skills, especially when associated with such a well known TV character as Jim.
Cathy Tyson plays D.I. Siobhan Clarke, headstrong in her job and up for promotion, but will she jeopardise what she wants for what Cafferty wants from her? Will she need to?
John Stahl plays Cafferty, a big but notorious fish in Edinburgh's fish pond. Dangerous to cross and with the constant reminders of the fruits of his ill gotten gains. plush flat, best wines, state of the art equipment, you really want him to get his comeuppance at the hands of Rebus.
Neil McKineven, Dani Heron and Eleanor House complete the cast.
Directed by Robin Lefevre, this play rattles on at a cracking pace, and had me eager to find out what happened in Act Two at the close of Act One. Let's say I was not disappointed with the ending!
The set design is by Ti Green. Simple, layered set with minimal props, but effective enough to portray the grittiness and seediness of the Edinburgh underworld, almost bordering at times of 1950's film noir.
Brilliant lighting designed by Chahine Yavroyan and Simon Bond also helped to create the atmosphere and long shadows, where no one can hide for John Rebus.
The composer and Sound Design is by Garth McConaghie, adding more layers to the dark atmosphere.
The story writing is second to none and really keeps you hanging on - just wait for the twist - and the cast are excellent.
If you're a fan on Rankin's detective books, go see this play.
If you've never read one of Rankin's Rebus books, go see this play.
If you're a fan of great theatre, go see this play.
Go see this play.
“Rebus: Long Shadows” is at the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 27 October 2018