Showing at Northern Stage, The Invisible Man is one of the latest adaptations of HG Wells’ book of the same name. With the likes of the 1933 and 2020 films being the most popular interpretations of his work, writer and director Phillip Correia and Anna Girvan had a difficult job of bringing something fresh and interesting to this classic tale, and then put it to stage! And it is a job well done with a more modern grounding of the story, underpinned with thoughtful messages of class and a critical look at how broken some of the UK’s systems are.
It is clear that none of this would have been possible without the amazing effort put in by both the cast and crew. I found myself astonished at how meticulously this play had been planned and practiced to perfection. Numerous times I found myself in awe of what I was seeing and everyone’s hard work definitely paid off.
With a small cast of only four over a period of 90 minutes, you get the chance to know each of them intimately, which is sure to make their performances a challenge as any slip-ups will be all the more apparent. But none of them did, each delivering diverse and interesting performances that kept you hooked throughout, with some of the actors even playing multiple roles. A personal favourite of mine was Izzy Ions who was able to play several different characters within one scene, with smart and quick costume changes.
An amusing aspect of a play about invisibility was just how visible everything was. Multiple costume and scene changes were in prime view throughout, which coupled with the stellar sound effects (of which their inception was also visible), created an engaging experience that kept me hooked. As for the actual invisibility, clever scene changes and amazing physical performances from the likes of Jack Fairley did it justice.
An intense and clever performance if ever there were one, The Invisible Man is brimming with wit and I urge you to check it out if you get the chance. If you can see it that is…