The Da Vinci Code

Updated: Feb 16

From the novel by Dan Brown, adapted by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel

Simon Friend Entertainment

Theatr Clwyd, Mold

February 14-19, 2022; 2hrs

Hannah Rose Caton and Nigel Harman in The DaVinci Code at Theatr Clwyd
Hannah Rose Caton and Nigel Harman in The Da Vinci Code at Theatr Clwyd. All pics: Johan Persson

Blasphemy, or a variant reading of history to cover up a conspiracy? Whichever you believe, Dan Brown’s complex plot has ignited controversy. But does it translate well from page or screen to stage?

The play is true to the book, fast moving and with an ingenious storyline offering twists and turns that keep us guessing. It makes excellent use of historical figures and famous artworks, with a few mathematical conundrums to keep the mind ticking over. It proves to be a rattling good murder mystery as we uncover those responsible for the death of four guardians of an ancient secret. And it becomes a love story between a grandfather and granddaughter, a voyage of discovery of the self.

So there is more depth to the story than the sensationalism surrounding it lets on; the problem for Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel as adapters, and Luke Sheppard as director, has been to successfully translate this into live theatre.

A massive help in this process is the staging of David Woodhead. We need to see the action move from museum to church to home, from Paris to London to Edinburgh, without drawing breath. Clever use of a video wall and screen and minimal furniture enable this well. The background music heightens the suspense.

The two leads, Nigel Harman and Hannah Rose Caton, carry the story well - at times suitably dumbfounded or innocent, at times perceptive. They are supported by a cast that adds a sinister element at times, and transitions scenes well, all in all leading to the drama living well up to expectations and offering a thoroughly enjoyable evening.


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