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Stage Dragon – Rebus: Long Shadows At The Yvonne Arnaud

Published on: 20 Nov, 2018
Updated on: 22 Nov, 2018

by Tricia Marcotti

I do love a good mystery!

This week, the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is hosting the final week of the tour for Rebus: Long Shadows.

Written by Ian Rankin and adapted by Rona Munro, the rumpled and crumpled detective John Rebus is back.

From the moment the lights went down until the final curtain fell, this was a thoroughly riveting piece of theatre.

I tried to pick my way through the clues and find the perpetrator of a crime committed when Rebus was in the police force (he’s now retired!), but when the half-time break arrived, I was none the wiser.

I got closer during the second half, but there were twists and turns in the plot that only Mr. Rankin could have written.

The scenery was well designed and gave value in its use for a number of different settings.

Charles Lawson doing what Rebus does best. (Credit Robert Day).

Charles Lawson was Rebus, carrying the role well. I closed my eyes and listened to his Scottish accent. There was no slip away from that accent throughout. He definitely fitted the detective role.

Cathy Tyson as Siobhan Clarke, Rebus’s last police sidekick and now a detective chief inspector, seemed a little hesitant at times in the role. However, when she needed to step up and perform, she did.

Siobhan and Rebus discussing the case. (Credit Robert Day).

John Stahl, as Cafferty, was menacing both in size and manner. I felt that I would not want to get on his wrong side!

Neil McKinven played a number of parts. I know that I thought once or twice: “How have they managed to get two actors who look so alike?” – Until I realised that it was the same man dressed as a different character. Funny, right?

John Rebus is a man haunted by ghosts from his past throughout Ian Rankin’s books. It was no different in the play. Both Dani Heron as Angela and Eleanor House as Maggie provided us with their take on how young women behaved in the past.

I do not want to tell you anything about the plot because I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment of the play. So this review is a little shorter for that reason.

This is an enthralling ‘five star’ production and I would not want you to miss it.

Rebus: Long Shadows runs until Saturday, November 24 with evening performances on each day and a matinee on Saturday. To book tickets, go online at by clicking here or call the the Yvonne Arnaud box office on 01483 440000.

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