Tooth & Sinew’s production of The Turn of the Screw at the Seymour Centre is captivating from start to finish. A dimly lit dark-wood panelled stage immediately sets the scene as it morphs from a deserted train station to the London office of a handsome, flirtatious bachelor. This uncaring uncle hires a young governess to care for his orphaned niece and nephew on an isolated country estate.

There is much jollity and laughter throughout, which only serves to heighten the sense that nothing here is quite as it seems. The younger child Flora quickly attaches herself to the pretty governess, excited to have someone new to play with apart from Mrs Grose, the kindly but middle-aged housekeeper whom Flora alternately bullies and adores. Shortly after, Miles arrives home unexpectedly from boarding school, for an extended stay.

The children are bright and charming, if perhaps a little too precocious. For a while, everything seems perfect. 

As the story unfolds, the governess learns some unsettling truths about her predecessor Miss Jessel and the mysterious Mr Quint. All this took place before her time, but is it really in the past?

Something is gathering, waiting in the background. There is a figure in the darkness.  And some sins do not die with the sinner.

Richard Hilliar’s theatrical adaptation of Henry James’ classic novella The Turn of the Screw is a creeping and malevolent exploration of the way the crimes of the past poison long into the future.  Tooth and Sinew bring their anarchic spirit to provide modern eyes on an all-time classic and one of the most celebrated and iconic horror stories ever written.

“Simultaneously a faithful adaptation and modern reinterpretation of James’ masterpiece, this will be a thrilling night of theatre full of tension, mystery and dread. Horror is just as engaging and entertaining as comedy and we’re so excited to bring something scary to Sydney stages,” says Director Richard Hilliar. 

“When I saw Tooth and Sinew’s wildly inventive, climate-relevant take on U.B.U (with puppets!), I invited them to present a new work within our season this year. I’m very glad they are tackling this classic and can’t wait to see the results”, says Seymour Centre Artistic Director, Timothy Jones.

Directed by Richard Hilliar (U.B.U: A Cautionary Tale of Catastrophe) and performed by a stellar cast including Kim Clifton (Professional Debut), Martelle Hammer (Sydney Opera House’s L’hotel), Lucy Lock (Arclight Films’ Poker Face), Harry Reid (New Theatre’s Breaking the Code) and Jack Richardson (Redline Production’s Cleansed), this psychological thriller will leave audiences questioning their senses and checking every shadow. 

  • When: 21st July – 12th August 2023
  • Times: Wednesdays to Fridays 7:30pm; Saturdays 1:30pm & 7:30pm 
  • Where: Seymour Centre, Corner City Rd and Cleveland St, Chippendale 
  • Book here or call the box office on (02) 9061 5344 
  • Ticket prices: Full $49 / Seniors, Groups 8+ $39 / Concession, Under 35s $35 / Previews $33