The Turn of the Screw

Benjamin Britten

15 Feb - 19 Mar 2020

Dates & venues

A terrifying, edge-of-your-seat thriller

In a remote country house, a newly-appointed governess fights to protect two children from menacing spirits. But are these apparitions real, or the product of her troubled imagination? And what terrible evil occurred before the governess’s arrival?

Based on the ghost story by Henry James, Britten’s psychological thriller of a chamber opera reaches new levels of terror in Alessandro Talevi’s spine-chilling production. The theme of The Turn of the Screw – of innocence abused and corrupted – had a particular fascination for Britten, and he clothes this dark material in music of disturbing beauty that winds up the tension to breaking point.

‘An electrifying production…absolutely enthralling.’
★★★★★ — The Telegraph (2010)

‘My spine is still shivering like a blancmange in the wind…stunning.’
★★★★★ — The Times (2010)


£15 to £75*
  • Leeds Grand Theatre
  • Theatre Royal Newcastle
  • The Lowry, Salford Quays
  • Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Running time
Approximately 2 hours 15 minutes

Sung in English

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*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.

By permission of Boosey and Hawkes Ltd.


A governess has been hired to care for two children at a remote country house by their distant and preoccupied uncle in London. She instantly takes a liking to the children, Flora and Miles, but feels uneasy in the old house. She constantly hears footsteps outside her door at night and spots a pale faced man watching her from one of the windows. She describes the man to the house keeper Mrs Grose, who believes it is the ghost of Peter Quint, the former valet, who died in mysterious circumstances several years ago.

The governess confides in Mrs Grose after more ghostly sightings and is advised to contact the children’s uncle in London. She writes a letter, but the ghost of Peter Quint instructs Miles to steal the letter before it can be posted.

Learning that her letter was never sent the Governess confronts Miles. As she questions him, the ghost of Peter Quint pressures Miles not to betray him, but he reluctantly names the ghost and suddenly falls dead on the floor. The Governess cries out in grief.


Nicholas Watts

Prologue / Peter Quint

Sarah Tynan


Eleanor Dennis

Miss Jessel

Heather Shipp

Mrs Grose

Jennifer Clark


Creative team

Leo McFall


Alessandro Talevi


Madeleine Boyd

Set & Costume Designer

Matthew Haskins

Lighting Designer

The Turn of the Screw
The Turn of the Screw

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