An adaptation of the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist, made its stage debut at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles on Thursday night. Adapted by acclaimed playwright John Pielmeier and produced under the direction of Tony Award-winner John Doyle, The Exorcist transported the storyline of the film, as directed by William Friedkin, on stage. The film itself was an adaptation of William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel of the same name.
The Exorcist is about a young girl who is believed possessed by evil spirits and her mother's attempts to rid her daughter of those spirits' presence through an exorcism - a religious ritual employed in such cases.
"The most chilling test of faith comes to life on stage. This world premiere adaptation of the famous 1971 novel documenting the terror and redemption of a ten-year-old girl remains as frightening and relevant as when first experienced," the playhouse said in a statement.
The stage adaptation of The Exorcist is also an attempt to re-create the age-old debate over morality and the idea of evil, religious faith and good values into a more contemporary narrative. According to the producers, The Exorcist transforms the unsettling battles of good versus evil, faith versus fact and ego versus ethos into a uniquely theatrical experience as sophisticated as it is suspenseful. Art Director Randall Arney was quoted as calling it "an amazingly complex story about faith, the loss of faith, love and redemption."
The Exorcist will run in Los Angeles till 12 August; the cast includes David Wilson Barnes as Father Damien Karras, Brooke Shields as Kric MacNeil, Stephen Bogardus as Dr Strong and Richard Chamberlain as Father Merrin.
The stage adaptation of the 1973 film The Exorcist (nominated for ten Academy Awards and winner of the awards for Best Screenplay and Best Sound Production) will then move to Broadway's Golden Theatre after Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, as you prepare to watch the stage adaptation of The Exorcist, the first horror film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, here are some photographs of the play, from Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles: