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Review: North By Northwest, Sydney Lyric Theatre (2022)

Stage and screen fuse together in this adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic suspense comedy at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre.

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Stage and screen fuse together in this adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic suspense comedy at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre. Set in the 1950s New York City, this tale of mistaken identity at the height of the cold war finds corporate man Roger Thornhill abducted, framed and on the run. 

Here Roger is played by actor and performer David Campbell and the stage scenes play out similar to that of a film. The production takes the set direction by the horns and goes for it, taking on and delivering on an ambitious task of immersing the audience in the story through the use of bluescreen and cameras. 

The production design is one of the best I have seen on stage in recent years, complementing the narrative and also providing some much-needed comedy humour in some scenes. It also allows Campbell to shine. He is an unparalleled presence on stage, sympathetic and hilarious in equal measure.

Amber McMahon takes on the role of Eve and plays the role of the femme fatale superbly, almost matching Campbell in how she captivates the crowd. The ensemble is all strong too, whether playing background characters, pulling practical effects or becoming backdrops themselves. 

Much of the success of the production rests on director Simon Phillip’s shoulder who balances the drama and comedy in a refreshing way and allows the audience to enjoy themselves. Coupled with the strong production value, this an unmissable live performance event in Sydney this season.

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