Reviewed by Jamie Chapman Dixon
Written by Charles Dickens
Adapted by Jo Clifford
Conceived & Directed by Graham Mclaren
We all know and love this tale as the classic Charles Dickens novel, but get ready to remember it as the Jo Clifford adaptation. With a spectacular cast and an awe inspiring creative team we revisit 19th century Britain and admire the classic literature of Dickens from a new perspective. As the show opens, the scene is set in a dilapidated mansion covered in cob webs and dust. As the safety curtain rises you feel a sharp chill of cold air rush down your spine and the true belief that you are inside this once beautiful estate. As characters start to pile on stage you get the feeling you’re inside a Tim Burton cartoon and that you are sitting at the dinner table alongside them.
For our journey we have a narrator and in this circumstance our narrator is Adult Pip (Paul Nivison) who talks us through his deepest memory’s and innermost secrets.
In this adaptation we follow Pips story from start to end. A young Pip (Taylor Jay-Davies) is an orphan who is taken in by kind hearted Joe Gargary (Josh Elwell) a blacksmith and his not so kind hearted wife Mrs Joe (Isabelle Joss). As we watch Pip grow up we see him meet all sorts of strange and interesting people, from all varieties of backgrounds. Whilst we have our protagonist in the form of Pip, we also have many other underlying story lines to keep our focus. We see the sad tale of Miss Havisham (Paula Wilcox) and how she was left at the alter by her illustrious husband. Miss Havishams heart was shattered and did not wish the same fate to fall upon her adopted child Estella (Grace Rowe). In order to save her daughter from the same pain, Miss Havisham teaches her to break other men’s hearts instead, which is bad news for Pip once he realises he is head over heels in love with the young heiress.
This show is a heart warming, moving and emotional piece telling the tale of a young orphans journey to wealth and back again leaving you on the edge of your seat and trying to work out where the next dramatic twist and turn will be. Taylor Jay- Davies and Josh Elwell stole the show by putting in fantastic performances respectively. I could happily sit and listen to their thought provoking journey over and over again and still not get bored.
Great Expectations plays at the Vaudeville Theatre until 1st June 2013. Click here for tickets.
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