The Mill on the Floss

Previewed 3 April 2001, Opened 4 April 2001, Closed 5 May 2001 at the Ambassadors Theatre in London

Shared Experience Theatre present Helen Edmundson's stage adaptation of George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss in London directed by Nancy Meckler and Polly Teale

Wild and clever, Maggie Tulliver struggles with Victorian society's stifling conventions. Denied the opportunities offered to her adored brother Tom, she desperately tries to reconcile her thirst for knowledge with her family's expectations. But then Maggie meets a passionate man who loves her for her wit, intelligence and sensuality, and her true nature threatens to erupt...

Directed by Nancy Meckler and Polly Teale. Shared Experience are renowned world over for breaking boundaries and creating highly charged physical performances including the critically acclaimed Jane Eyre, Mother Courage and Her Children and A Doll's House.

"Polly Teale and Nancy Meckler have assembled yet another fine cast to tackle the play... One of the production’s strengths is that it evokes a troubled provincial world with the aid of little but a rough wooden bridge, a few ropes and eight performers, three of whom spend most of their time being Maggie... All in all, you won’t find better ensemble acting in London." The Times

"This is the finest of the company's fine versions of classic novels. It is an admirable dramatic work in its own right; and while it doesn't pretend to be a substitute for George Eliot, it will, I think, enhance anyone's reading of her. The production itself, directed by Nancy Meckler and Polly Teale, is fluid and imaginative. A whole provincial world is brought to life, with tenderness and sympathy, but also with plenty of comic (and indeed, satirical) relief. The intensity of a child's vision is beautifully caught, but all the relationships ring true; the idea of having Maggie Tulliver at different ages and in different modes portrayed by three different actresses is carried through brilliantly, and the ensemble playing is impeccable. There is no more satisfying experience currently on offer on the London stage." The Sunday Telegraph

"The exhilarating triumph of Shared Experience's The Mill On The Floss is that it distils a rich, gripping tragedy into an intoxicating shot of theatricality while spilling not a single drop of George Eliot's narrative energy or emotional intelligence. A truly potent, deeply moving experience. It has taken this remarkable, inventive production six years to reach the West End. Now, with an even stronger cast than the one I remember, The Mill On The Floss reveals the company at the peak of its powers. The key is that less is always more and, here, simple images set imaginative fires blazing in the minds of the audience... Helen Edmundson's adaptation brilliantly explores the conflicting passions within Maggie by splitting her, quite literally, into three, each one played by a different actress. Their hair alone express their differences: the first Maggie has a wild, frizzy, untameable, explosive mop, which is all the wilder for her and her brother's attempt at pruning; the second Maggie has straight hair primly tied back, indicative of her determination to rein herself in, deny her excessively sensual side; in the third Maggie, tendrils of hair escape her bun - nature overwhelms nurture... See it." The Mail on Sunday

The Mill on the Floss Shared Experience in London at the Ambassadors Theatre previewed from 3 April 2001, opened on 4 April 2001 and closed on 5 May 2001