GOING OUT / Free film screening: Join us for a little psychological warfare

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The Independent Culture
THREE YEARS after Truly Madly Deeply made her a star of the screen, Juliet Stevenson returns to the cinema in David Hare's The Secret Rapture (15). Originally a play, this gripping story of psychological warfare between a woman, her lover, her sister and her stepmother was widely acclaimed when it opened at the National in 1988. It was directed by Howard Davies, who now makes his debut as a film director. After Hare's state-of-the-nation trilogy - Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges and The Absence of War - this adaptation sees the playwright turn back from the political to the personal. Still, The Secret Rapture is an unambiguously moral tale, delivering harsh judgement on the values of post- Thatcher Britain. Stevenson plays Isobel, like Truly Madly Deeply's Nina a warm, liberal and complicated character. But here the mood is darker: Isobel's father has died, and the story moves from grief to love, need and betrayal, as her nearest and dearest emotionally lean on and feed off her. Penelope Wilton repeats her stage performance as the bossy- brittle sister, Neil Pearson is Isobel's obsessive boyfriend, and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer (above) her younger, off-the-rails stepmother. The Secret Rapture opens in London on 3 June, but Oasis Films invites Independent on Sunday readers to a special preview at the Gate Cinema, W11, on Saturday (28 May), at 11.30am. A pair of tickets to the first 120 readers to send a large SAE to: Secret Rapture, Arts Desk, IoS, 40 City Rd, London EC1Y 2DB. Unused stamps go to charity.

(Photograph omitted)