The Art of Stephanie Sinclaire :: Painting, Art, Film, Theatre, Writing

Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith

Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith

THE SHADOW MASTER

Adapted from JM Barrie’s DEAR BRUTUS and directed by Stephanie Sinclaire

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

DRAGONLADY FILMS AND THE KINGSHEAD THEATRE
UNITE TO CREATE A UNIQUE FILM LAB

PATRON FOR THE KINGS HEAD THEATRE* SIR ALAN PARKER
THE SHADOW MASTER STAGE TO SCREEN PROJECT

 

GOSFORD PARK MEETS MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM BY WAY OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE

SYNOPSIS

Several strangers meet at the country house of the mysterious Lob for a summer house party. The mansion is beautiful but odd, the host eccentric, the butler menacing. There is an eerie magical wood that can only be entered on Midsummer Night. Lob sends them into the wood where it is revealed that what they all have in common is a desire for a second chance. The Machiavellian Lob is the master puppeteer and the second chance they hope for is nothing like what they expect. Their secret wishes set them upon a wild fantasy adventure. Their ultimate realizations when the ‘spell’ is broken are no less hilarious and moving then the journey that got them there. The subtle, underlying message that our destiny lies within and that to change our lives we must first change ourselves, is a message for our times.

 

HISTORY

THE SHADOW MASTER is based on JM Barrie’s DEAR BRUTUS. It has been a critical and popular success in all its presentations: in the 20’s with Gerald du Maurier, in the 40’s with John Geilgud and Stephanie Sinclaire’s two productions in the late 90’s and 2008. Her 90’s revival led to the award of the coveted film rights from the Barrie estate and film development funding. Her screenplay was developed through screenplay workshops and readings with noted actors including Tom Conti, Patricia Hodge, Prunella Scales and Timothy West. For the recent ‘stage to screen’ production Sinclaire, in a unique experiment with the Kings Head Theatre, directed the screenplay on stage, fully underscored, with over 300 music and lighting cues, creating a heightened environment that drew audiences back for several viewings and once again garnered critical acclaim for this haunting fantasy. She will film the excellent ensemble cast of the theatre production with special casting of key roles: MR. COADE (Richard Attenborough), MRS. COADE and two new characters, BILLY and MIRANDA. Its magical blend of astute social satire, high comedy, sexual misadventure, bacchanalian revelry and sudden poignant tragedy will be finally realized to their full in a transfer to film.

 

REVIEWS

Reviews for the first London production

Directed, produced & adapted by Stephanie Sinclaire

 

“A strange haunting tale of a magic wood which allows its visitors to have a second chance at their lives. Located somewhere between Star Wars and Wizard of Oz … the next Disney”
Sheridan Morley, The Spectator

 

“It might almost be a detective story… The production… is a triumph … excellent performances.”
John Gross, Sunday Telegraph

 

“… a treasure … a satirical fantasy. The adaptation and skilful staging … makes ideal entertainment. Warmly recommended.”
John Thaxter, The Stage

 

“Genuine humour and poignancy … Sinclaire efficiently dispenses the thrills…Felix and Naomi Bell’s eerie music catches just the right mood.”
Kate Stratton, Time Out

 

“The cast tread surely over the serious ground this deceptively playful work covers … a distinct sexual undertow.”
Graham Hassel, What’s On

 

“Childhood, love, loss, the passing of innocence … This is Peter Pan for grown-ups but then Peter Pan was for grownups too.”
Nick Eisen, Highbury and Islington Express

 

“Barrie has a vampire-like knowledge of where to find the emotional artery. The cast invest their roles with conviction … feel-good theatre.”
Jeremy Kingston, The Times

 

Reviews for the first stage to screen production

Directed, produced & adapted by Stephanie Sinclaire

 

TOP FIVE CRITICS CHOICE

*****THE TIMES

 

“More Pan’s Labyrinth than Master of Shadows. A magically mysterious piece that feels like a collision between A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I was particularly taken by Neil Henry’s weirdly louche servant. Keith Faulkner plays the master of ceremonies, Lob, like Gene Wilder on angel dust. Helen Anker transforms enjoyably from stuffy Lady Caroline to lively woodland sprite.”
Camden New Journal

 

“Joanna, played with finesse by the suitably glamorous Charlotte Radford, turns from a steamy seductress into a cardigan wearing drip of a wife … Helen Anker shows her versatility as the snooty Lady Caroline who turns free spirit in the woods. Neil Henry, who at one moment seems perfectly cast as the crooked servant and the next inhabits the skin of a money-hungry city worker with similar ease, is as thrilling in his acting as in his magic, while Billy Geraghty’s tormented artist is masterful.”
Kate Jackson, What’s On Stage

 

“FOUR STARS … Director Stephanie Sinclaire has cast her characters beautifully and added modern relevance to her adaptation … This is an elegant, stylish production of an enjoyable dark fairytale.”
Aline Waites, Ham & High

 

“Satisfying emotional resonance.”
Andrew Haydon, Time Out

 

“Keith Faulkner plays Lob with confidence and ease. Neil Henry as the butler Matey turns his hand to some real magic and in the second half pairs off with the snooty Lady Caroline – Helen Anker, in a plum role. Naomi Preston-Low steals the show as the innocent of the piece, Margaret. In a love triangle, Oliver Stoney plays a seedy musician who cheats on his wife. Katherine Kastin is Mabel, a vivacious actor who brings energy to the role and works remarkably well opposite Charlotte Radford as the flighty Joanna. Billy Geraghty and Oona Kirsch complete the dinner party as a couple on the verge of emotional collapse, mourning for the child they never had.

 

Stephanie Sinclaire’s direction is tight and is complimented by a superb artistic team, including some wonderful movement – considering the intimacy of the King’s Head stage – by Marc Urquhart. Georgia Lowe’s wonderful set creates a mystical wood and ancient manor house beautifully coloured and enchantingly lit by Peter Harrison.”
Graham Hassel, What’s On

 

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