Dickens For Dinner
Building on the success of their Shakespeare for Breakfast shows, the same company has now taken a foray into the more intricate world of one of our greatest literary heroes, Charles Dickens, in this hour-long parody of his writing style and complicated plots that it would probably be fair to say is still finding its feet—while nevertheless being a great hoot and ticking quite a lot of the boxes.
Dickens is a different prospect to Shakespeare: there’s not the same language or rhyming structure to draw on, his novels are much more intricate in plot structure and the huge amount of characters he draws on.
This is a good attempt at reducing down Great Expectations to a manageable length but with only four actors the plot and characters inevitably suffers a drastic pruning. There also seem as many references to Les Mis, Joseph and the Technicolor DreamCoat and Eastenders as there are to Dickens, but that does bring out the humour.
Miss Havisham is excellent and especially plays to her strengths of complete madness, and Pip is particularly fresh-faced and positive throughout.
There is definitely room for this side-swipe at the world of chimney sweeps, crooked lawyers and gout to grow and improve. But if you love Shakespeare for Breakfast you’ll like this—and it can only get better.
Reviewer: Suzanne Hawkes