Phoenix Theatre, London “That thing upstairs isn’t my daughter!” is just one of the famous lines from the iconic 1973 film.
Fans will be pleased to hear it, along with other more X-rated ones, in this new take on the terrifying tale. But be warned – it’s not for those of a nervous disposition. We are in the new home of movie star Chris (Jenny Seagrove) and her angelic 12-year-old daughter Regan.
But the moppet makes a new pal – a demon magnificently voiced by Sir Ian McKellen, who savours every second as he goes from purring ingratiation to satanic savagery. Regan’s descent into possession – leading Chris to call the James Bond of exorcists (Peter Bowles) – includes the movie’s projectile vomiting, shocking obscenity and head-swivelling.
It makes for a camp but skilfully staged show which serves up gruesome with devilish relish.