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Rebus: Long Shadows

King's Theatre, Edinburgh

Detective Inspector John Rebus is retired but the shadows of his former life still follow him through the streets of Edinburgh. Whisky helped but now he's denying himself that pleasure. But when the daughter of a murder victim appears outside his flat, he's back on the case and off the wagon… Read more …

Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels have dominated the detective fiction market with the ensuing television and radio series ensuring the detective’s legendary status. Now, alongside award-winning playwright Rona Munro, Ian Rankin is bringing his beloved creation to the stage for the very first time.

The critical consensus

Charles Lawson is on fine form as a retired John Rebus but the novelist’s Edinburgh underworld is missing.

**(*)(*)(*)Michael Billington, The Guardian, 26/09/2018

This is not new territory in the detective format, the idea that the good and the bad are different aspects of the same sphere. Here, though, Rankin and Munro, constantly striking past off present, give it a particularly fine and eminently theatrical shading.

****(*)Clare Brennan, The Observer, 30/09/2018

Robin Lefevre’s production limps to a long-drawn-out conclusion that even Ti Green’s impressively bleak tenement design, and a final brilliant shaft of blood-red light from the late, great lighting designer Chahine Yavroyan, cannot lift above the ordinary.

**(*)(*)(*)Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 09/10/2018

Robin Lefrevre’s production, initiated at Birmingham Rep, brings Rankin’s creation to life in a way that gives the Rebus fans what they want without shutting out newcomers.

***(*)(*)Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 09/10/2018

Despite boasting the talents of two of Scotland’s greatest writers and a more than adequate cast, Rebus: Long Shadows, at the King’s until Saturday, is nowhere near as compelling as the stage debut of Edinburgh’s most celebrated fictional policeman should be.

***(*)(*)Hugh Simpson, All Edinburgh Theatre, 09/10/2018

What Rebus: Long Shadows ultimately lacks is the venom that characterises Rankin’s series.

***(*)(*)Dominic Corr, The Wee Review, 10/10/2018

While it ticks all the character and settings boxes, the story itself feels more like a short story stretched into a play than a fully fleshed out idea and never fully takes flight.

***(*)(*)Tom Ralphs, The Reviews Hub, 10/10/2018

Well worth watching for crime fans.

****(*)Lauren Humphreys, The Reviews Hub, 29/01/2019

Features about Rebus: Long Shadows

Iconic Edinburgh detective Rebus makes his theatre debut

Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman, 20/09/2018

Cathy Tyson--Rebus: Long Shadows

Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 09/10/2018

Where and when?

King's Theatre, Edinburgh from Monday October 8, 2018, until Saturday October 13, 2018. More info:

Theatre Royal, Glasgow from Tuesday January 29, 2019, until Saturday February 2, 2019. More info:

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