Almost 45 years ago, The Exorcist arrived in cinemas, scaring an entire generation of film fans shitless. To this day, William Friedkin’s film ranks among the scariest to ever arrive on the big screen.
Based on William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel of the same name, the two-time Oscar-winning film sparked worldwide controversy on release. Audiences were left petrified to the point of passing out, while some were even sick and cinemas were forced to issue a warning to anyone watching the film, which went on to become a huge box office success.
Now, decades on, a similar warning accompanies the news that The Exorcist is being unleashed onto the West End stage for the very first time in a uniquely theatrical experience directed by Sean Mathias and adapted for the stage by John Pielmeier.
The Exorcist will play a strictly limited run at the Phoenix Theatre from 20 October 2017 to 10 March 2018. Tickets will go on general sale at 4 pm on Friday 11 August.
The synopsis, if anyone needs reminding, is as follows: “When the medical profession fails to provide answers to young Regan’s strange symptoms her desperate mother Chris turns to a local priest for help. But before Father Damien can tackle what’s before him, he must overcome his own shaken beliefs, as this fight is for more than just one girl’s soul…”
What many fans often forget, however, is that The Exorcist was supposedly based on a real-life exorcism.
More importantly, those involved in the film were subject to the “Exorcist Curse” which saw a number of unfortunate events befall those involved in the production.
Though a similar scenario is unlikely when the play arrives on the stage, the production does come with a warning stating that it “contains material which may shock and offend. Recommended age guidance 18+.”
No word yet on whether those on the front row should wear waterproofs in the event of any projectile vomit stains. It’s probably not going to be the sort of play you take your grandma to see, either.