Review: The Exorcist, Phoenix Theatre

After a premiere in Birmingham last year…


Sean Mathias’ production of The Exorcist has resurfaced in the West End just in time for Hallowe’en in the hope of recreating the chills and thrills of the 1973 movie, despite the fact that it is notoriously difficult to get horror right in the theatre.

We saw a preview and there may have been wine involved, hence the gif mood-board presented here rather than your fully-fleshed review. So…

See Jenny Seagrove in a collection of saucily modern outfits

Appreciate Adam Garcia’s Father Damien in his boxing scenes

Wonder whether a pre-recorded Ian McKellen is really the best fit for the demon

Marvel at how Ben Hart’s illusions recreate many of the iconic moments from the film…

But wonder too at how the biggest effect is achieved right at the start with barely any effort at all

And for the love of God, don’t buy tickets at the front and on the sides!

Don’t take your kids – there’s a (perhaps overly cautious) 18+ age guidance note

And do as we did and take advantage of the late night show (9pm start) on a Friday, which allows enough time to get sufficiently warmed up…

…and you might well have a screamer of a time

In all honesty, it really ain’t that scary, something so ingrained in the cultural memory could scarcely hope to continue to shock. But in its best moments, The Exorcist is high camp and thus gloriously, enjoyably silly. Plus it will most likely make you jump one way or another.

Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes (without interval)
Booking until 10th March

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