The Exorcist at Phoenix Theatre tickets
The Exorcist at Phoenix Theatre tickets

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Overview

William Friedkin’s horrifying cinematic masterpiece The Exorcist comes to life on the West End stage this October, with tickets available now. Based on William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel, the story that terrified an entire generation has been adapted for the stage by celebrated playwright John Pielmeier and is directed by the award-winning Sean Mathias.

Based on true events, the bone-chilling tale follows a young girl named Regan, who begins developing the strange psychological symptoms of an uncategorisable condition. Dumbfounding the doctors, Regan’s disposition continues to turn more nightmarish by the day. Fearing the unthinkable, her terrified mother summons Father Damien, a faith-shaken priest, who finds himself thrust into an encounter with an unimaginable evil in the battle for the young girl’s soul.

More than 40 years after William Friedkin’s genre-defining masterpiece was unleashed onto an unexpecting cinema audience, The Exorcist is still consistently regarded as one of the scariest films ever made. Released in 1973, the motion picture triggered a worldwide controversy through its spine-chilling visuals and darkly absorbing narrative, causing audiences to scream and in some cases faint in cinemas across the globe.

The film’s commanding legacy includes 10 Academy Awards nominations, 7 Golden Globe nominations and remains one of the top ten highest grossing films of all time. This terrifying titan of the genre is a powerful landmark in the history of horror and continues to inspire new generations of writers and filmmakers to this day.

Director Sean Mathias has worked extensively in the West End and on Broadway, with notable productions including his revival of Waiting for Godot which premiered at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2009 going on to tour in the UK and internationally.

In 2013 The Exorcist played on Broadway alongside the Mathias’ production of Pinter’s No Man’s Land. No Man’s Land starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart transferred to Wyndham’s Theatre in October 2016, winning Best Revival at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards that year.

Mathias is joined by an incredible creative team including Olivier Award-winning designer Anna Fleischle (Hangmen), with lighting by Tim Mitchell who worked on the RSC’s Richard II starring David Tennant. The production’s composition and sound is designed by Adam Cork (London Road), with illusion and effects design by Ben Hart (Impossible).

After premiering at Birmingham Rep, the majority of the original cast transfers, including Jenny Seagrove (How the Other Half Loves, Fallen Angels) as Chris MacNeil, Adam Garcia (Wicked) as Father Damien and Peter Bowles as Father Lankester Merrin, alongside Clare Louise Connolly as Regan, Todd Boyce as Doctor Strong, Mitchell Mullen as Doctor Klein, Elliot Harper as Father Joe and Tristan Wymark as Burke, as well as the voice of The Demon by Ian McKellen.

This devilishly dark production plays a limited run at the Phoenix Theatre, with tickets available from the 20th October 2017 to 10th March 2018.

Recommended for

Horror enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to get tickets to this seminal story brought back to life on-stage, whilst fans of Blatty’s iconic novel will adore this faithfully terrifying adaption.

Age Recommendations: Recommended age guidance 18+

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes (including an interval)
Opened: 20 Oct 2017
Booking from: 10 Mar 2018
Booking until: 10 Mar 2018

Location and map

Phoenix Theatre
Charing Cross Road
London, WC2H 0JG

76 Reviews Add review

They are determined to scare us, that was obvious right from the start - ominous ambient music is playing as you enter. When the l... More

u2fancat 5'6'', 42 reviews, 0 helpful votes

They are determined to scare us, that was obvious right from the start - ominous ambient music is playing as you enter. When the lights eventually go down, they do so with a bang! just to set your nerves on edge. A stern voice explains that there is no interval - that once this begins, it will continue until it is over. The guidelines say 18+ - oh, and there are plenty of flashing lights throughout. Interesting thing I noticed - the exit lights kept coming on, from which I deduce that they actually turned them off for the scary bits. Cool - I do love a theatre that preserves the atmosphere! It's to the credit of the director that I didn't pay attention to the lights going off while scary stuff was happening on stage.. Peter Bowles actually plays the exorcist himself - I thought I recognised the voice! and Sir Ian McKellan voices the demon. Rather more suave than the one in the film, then. Overall, I have to give credit to the amazing special effects crew - the effects are flawless, and more than I expected. Projections of the demon, and of the younger priest's dead mother's face, lend a fantastic atmosphere. Moving shadows are used to great effect. Funnily enough, I was reading an interview with the director, who said - not wanting to give anything away - that the audience would get the scares they were expecting! Those who've seen the film will know exactly what that means - those who've heard something about it will guess. Let me just say this - we were all waiting for that effect, and it got its own individual round of applause! The girl's bedroom is in darkness while other scenes are taking place - the makeup artist takes these opportunities to add to the scary makeup, live on stage, where no-one can see her - and so the possession progresses. Truly impressive to see this brought to life on stage, and worth seeing if only from a technical perspective. Only thing is.. they try too faithfully to recreate the film, I think, and it does feel rushed as they try to pack in all the storylines. Which is a bit silly, considering that the film is longer than this play. We could maybe have skipped the bits about the priest's mother, or the scenes with the exorcist on his own. Never mind, it's a fantastic effort - and the overall impression, as with the film, is of a colossal, dirty battle between absolute evil and the power of the Church. And for all that they play Tubular Bells as the audience is leaving, it was the hymns that stuck with me.. reminding me of my childhood, when I really thought that the Church was the front line against evil. Runs until March 10th, and is a must for all horror fans.

u2fancat 5'6'', 42 reviews, 0 helpful votes

This production of the 1973 Oscar-nominated horror phenomenon was very entertaining! Sometimes legitimately, sometimes because of ... More

AlexPhillips 171cm, 48 reviews, 1 helpful vote

This production of the 1973 Oscar-nominated horror phenomenon was very entertaining! Sometimes legitimately, sometimes because of how silly and ridiculous it became. But it’s horror; it’s supposed to be camp! The lighting, sound and production design were very well established, and collectively they created the ideal level of suspense. Whilst some of the adult actors’ accents wandered in and out of middle America, the acting displayed by young Regan was particularly admirable, which was only ameliorated by Sir Ian McKellen’s gruff and satanic vocals. Although some of the iconic effects were less West End theatre and more regional pantomime (e.g. the vomiting and the final death), others were staged and produced to perfection (e.g. the head rotation and the window smash). Whether we were guffawing or quaking in our pleather boots, we were constantly thrilled. A great show overall!

AlexPhillips 171cm, 48 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Oh dear - I seldom give a bad review for shows, every show has something endearing about it - except this one!! For this productio... More

sarah 5" 6, 84 reviews, 26 helpful votes

Oh dear - I seldom give a bad review for shows, every show has something endearing about it - except this one!! For this production, however, the first 15/20 mins is to the far right of the stage ( the all-important bed scene) was totally obscured and we might as well have been listening to a radio play whilst being blind as the theatre was in absolute darkness. This did, of course, create an eery atmosphere but I found the complete darkness unnecessary. Bright flashing lights came on periodically which was not good for me. I found no mention of the lights when booking. The play was very slow and did not flow well. My opinion could have been swayed by our total lack of view, but when we moved and could see the stage each scene was in a different part of the stage. The sound was also not good and I found myself straining to hear until I lost interest. My companion and I go to the theatre A LOT - we appreciate theatre and the efforts that go into making a show but neither of enjoyed this production. If it had not been so dark we may have left before the interval.

sarah 5" 6, 84 reviews, 26 helpful votes

Clare Louise Connelly was phenomenal in The Exorcist playing the possessed 12 year old girl Regan. As an adult (age unknown, I wou... More

cloeblock 5"6, 24 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Clare Louise Connelly was phenomenal in The Exorcist playing the possessed 12 year old girl Regan. As an adult (age unknown, I would guess in her mid-late 20’s) she was an exceptional actress who easily can play young girls like she did. Her change into being possessed was excellent, the body movements, miming along to Ian McKellen who plays the Devil and the effects and illusions such as the head spin was extremely well portrayed. Overall there are not enough words to describe how wonderful the play and performers were. Truly splendid.

cloeblock 5"6, 24 reviews, 0 helpful votes

So I was keen to see my tap hero Adam Garcia perform as the priest in this play but on this occasion the understudy sprang into ac... More

tapwhizz 168cm, 50 reviews, 3 helpful votes

So I was keen to see my tap hero Adam Garcia perform as the priest in this play but on this occasion the understudy sprang into action and did a fab job. Great acting all round in fact and a real treat to see two of my favourite actors from the 80s, Jenny Seagrove and Peter Bowles, strutting their stuff. The show was cleverly adapted for the stage from the horror movie and I am still impressed at the 360 degree head turn sequence. Bravo to the special effects team there! Excellent set with clever changes. Very much enjoyed this show which had some great in your face, jump out of the seat frightening moments, de rigueur for a good horror yarn! Five stars all round!

tapwhizz 168cm, 50 reviews, 3 helpful votes

I was aware of the film but didn't really know the story line and I didn't read any reviews prior to my visit. I think the staging... More

Charmainf 5ft 4", 152 reviews, 9 helpful votes

I was aware of the film but didn't really know the story line and I didn't read any reviews prior to my visit. I think the staging could've been better as I have mentioned in the seat review, to allow more accessibility. It started of with loud noises and the auditorium in complete darkness which set an eerie scene, but after that it went down hill. They often used very bright lights that were facing the audience for what seemed a long time and you couldn't look up. Not sure what that was supposed to achieve. They came on suddenly accompanied with bangs. It was slow paced and whilst I realise the story is weird and shocking, it just didn't flow for me. I don't like to leave early, preferring to give it a chance but I didn't return to watch the second half after the interval as I really wasn't enjoying it. I do appreciate the quality of the cast and the hard work that goes into a show like this but I was really very disappointed with this play and felt I had wasted an evening.

Charmainf 5ft 4", 152 reviews, 9 helpful votes

I was sceptical about going to see ‘The Exorcist’ as a play as I didn’t know how such an iconic movie could be translated onto sta... More

joc78 5"4, 252 reviews, 4 helpful votes

I was sceptical about going to see ‘The Exorcist’ as a play as I didn’t know how such an iconic movie could be translated onto stage and boy was I right to be sceptical. This was an absolute mess from start to finish. The script was dire and the acting was so wooden. I can’t believe that esteemed actors such as Jenny Seagrove, Peter Bowles and Adam Garcia have signed up to this production! The only good thing about it was hearing the iconic Mike Oldfield score at the end of the production. I didn’t even find it very scary and was laughing at scenes where I was probably supposed to be scared! Some productions really should stay on screen and not move to the stage!!

joc78 5"4, 252 reviews, 4 helpful votes

An inventive set, excellent sound and lighting and a good stage adaptation of the original, with all the memorable set pieces on s... More

MrMoore 6ft, 8 reviews, 0 helpful votes

An inventive set, excellent sound and lighting and a good stage adaptation of the original, with all the memorable set pieces on show, this was a bold attempt at re-creating a live version of a literary and film classic. Did it succeed? For the most part yes, although despite wonderful technical wizardry and special effects, for me it did not have the scare factor and the "jumps" of "Woman in Black".

MrMoore 6ft, 8 reviews, 0 helpful votes

A superb show with great set and sound design. The devil voiced by Ian McKellan was impressive, Adam Garcia played his part well... More

kevinbilton 16 reviews, 0 helpful votes

A superb show with great set and sound design. The devil voiced by Ian McKellan was impressive, Adam Garcia played his part well and Clare Louise Connolly is outstanding. Peter Bowles and Jenny Seagrove perform adequately but the real stars are Tristram Wymark & Clare Louise Connolly. All in all a great night although due to its popularity as a film the stalls were made up of what appear to be first time theatre goers, constantly up and down to the toilets or as one bright spark decided taking photos during the performance.

kevinbilton 16 reviews, 0 helpful votes