Oct/Nov 2013

Don't Look Now
by Daphne DuMaurier
adapted by Nell Layshon

Directed by
Chris Plumridge

Michael Gray

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Don't Look Now takes place in Venice.

Following the death of their young daughter, John and Laura visit Venice to try to escape their grief.  But when the couple meet two sisters, one of whom claims to have psychic visions, strange things start to happen.  

Daphne Du Maurier’s classic thriller starts as a moving examination of grief but gradually becomes a chilling tale with a dark and terrifying climax.

John and Laura are having lunch at a restaurant in Torcello.  Two sisters, one of whom is blind, are sitting at the next table and the blind sister appears to be staring at John.  This makes John very uncomfortable.

Laura, whilst in the Ladies,has been talking to the sighted sister who has told her that her sister, since going blind, has become psychic and has seen their dead daughter Christine at the table with them.  Laura is convinced that Christine is not dead.

They go to Torcello's cathedral where they admire the statuary and decoration.  John suddenly finds the place very oppressive.

After some shopping, they return to the hotel and tell the clerk about their day.  He tells them that his wife is expecting their first child.

Next day, they explore Venice but get lost in the narrow passageways.  Laura is terrified by a scream from nearby but John reassures her that it is nothing.

After their fright in the passageways,  John and Laura find a local restaurant for their dinner.  The proprietor shows them to a table and takes their order.  John finds his attitude insufferable and neither have noticed that the sisters are sitting nearby.

Laura spots the sisters and decides to tell them how happy she has been all day thanks to them and their vision.

John joins them and asks Laura to return to their table.  She explains that the sisters have something to tell him.  They say that he is in great danger if he stays in Venice and must leave immediately and that it is Christine who has told them.  John, by now very angry, grabs Laura and they leave the restaurant.

John and Laura receive a telegram from their son Johnnie's school saying that he has appendicitis and is to be operated on.  Laura decides to return home on the next flight to be with him.  Whilst John calls the school to check on his condition, Laura packs.

After Laura has gone, John himself prepares to leave.  He then sees Laura in a distraught state with the sisters in the street.  He tries to find her.

John eventually tracks down the sisters and tells them he has seen Laura with them.  The blind sister explains that he has seen a vision of her in the future, that he must leave Venice right now and that his daughter is trying to contact him.  John is left alone and hears Christine's voice calling to him.

He sees a dwarf in a red cloak and thinking it is Christine, calls out to her and goes to meet her.

The dwarf is in fact a person who has been murdering tourists and suddenly pulls out a knife and stabs John in the throat.  He falls down dying.

Before he dies, John relives his vision of the future in which Laura has returned to Venice with the sisters to collect his things and take his body home.  She reflects on the stupidity of the manner of his death.



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