Exorcist cast for Kings

Aug 31 2019 | By More

Paul Nicholas for horror show

Paul Nicholas, Sophie Ward and Ben Caplan will take leading roles in the stage adaptation of the notorious 1973 horror flick, The Exorcist, touring to the King’s in November 2019.

The production opens in Windsor next week, playing the Theatre Royal in Glasgow from September 17 to 21 before touring England, arriving back Edinburgh on Bonfire Night for a week and finishing its tour in Inverness and Aberdeen.

Paul Nicholas, Sophie Ward and Ben Caplan

The play is adapted by John Pielmeier from William Peter Blatty’s novel – and film adaptation – about 12 year-old Regan who has strange, devil-like symptoms that the medical profession just can’t cure.

Paul Nicholas, who was Vince Pinner in Just Good Friends, will play Father Merin, the elderly priest who specialises in exorcism (Max von Sydow in the movie). Ward – Heartbeat’s Helen Trent and Holby City’s Sophia Byrne – will play Regan’s mother, Chris (Oscar-nominated Ellen Burstyn in the movie).

Father Damien Karras, the local priest who first suspects that Regan’s condition might not be medical who was played by playwright Jason Miller in the movie, will be played by Ben Caplan, who is best known for his time as Sgt. Peter Noakes in Call the Midwife.

Whether The Exorcist, directed by William Friedkin, is still the scariest movie ever is a debatable point. It probably was at the time of its release in 1973 when audience reactions were so extreme, with reports of fainting, throwing up and audience members hiding in corners of a the cinemas, that they, as well as the film itself, became the subject of news reports.

Academy Awards

The Exorcist was nominated for ten Academy Awards, winning two (Blatty for best adapted screenplay and for best sound mixing), legitimised horror as a genre in Hollywood and spawned a whole new sector of the film industry.

The play, which had a successful West End run in 2017/18, is directed by Sean Mathias and features the voice of Ian McKellen as the Demon. The new touring cast is completed by Tristram Wymark, Stephen Billington, Patrick Toomey, Joseph Wilkins, Susannah Edgley as Regan, Jonathan Blakeley and, making her professional debut, Eliza Capel.

Given the technical wizardry of the movie with its horrifying special effect, Bill Kenwright’s production has a suitably stellar creatives list.

Design is by Anna Fleischle, lighting by Philip Gladwell, and composition and sound design is by Adam Cork. Gold Star Member of the Inner Magic Circle Ben Hart is staging the illusions and projection design is by long-time collaborators Jon Driscoll and Gemma Carrington.


The Exorcist
King’s Theatre 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Tuesday 5 – Saturday 9 November 2019
Evenings Tue to Thurs: 7.30pm; Fri/Sat: 8.30pm, Matinees Wed: 2.30pm; Fr/Sat 5pm.
Age restriction: strictly 18+
Tickets and details: Book here.

The Exorcist on tour 2019:
Wed 4 – Sat 14 September Windsor
Theatre Royal
01753 853 888 Book online
Tue 17 – Sat 21 September Glasgow
Theatre Royal
0844 871 7647 Book online
Tue 24 – Sat 28 September Wimbledon
New Wimbledon Theatre
0844 871 7646 Book online
Tue 1 – Sat 5 October Stoke
Regent Theatre
0844 871 7649 Book online
Tue 8 – Sat 12 October Milton Keynes 
Milton Keynes Theatre
0844 871 7652 Book online
Tue 15 – Sat 19 October Birmingham 
The Alexandra Theatre
0844 871 3011 Book online
Tue 22 – Sat 26 October Manchester 
Opera House
0844 871 3018 Book online
Tue 29 October – Sat 2 November Dublin 
The Gaiety Theatre
0818 719388 Book online
Tue 5 – Sat 9 November Edinburgh 
The Kings Theatre
0131 529 6000 Book online
Tue 12 – Sat 16 November Inverness  
Eden Court Theatre
01463 234 234 Book online
Tue 19 – Sat 23 November Aberdeen  
His Majesty’s Theatre
01224 641122 Book online

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