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Review: The Old Curiosity Shop, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

PUBLISHED: 09:03 10 November 2017

The cast of The Old Curiosity Shop from rural touring champions Common Ground theatre company. Photo: Common Ground

The cast of The Old Curiosity Shop from rural touring champions Common Ground theatre company. Photo: Common Ground


Review: Robert Wright finds a Dickens adaptation gives pause for thought amid the drama.

This lively and most entertaining interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel has just about everything possible mixed in. It is performed by the Lincoln-based Common Ground Theatre Company which is touring East Anglia until the end of November.

These talented actor-musicians often chop and change characters with ease. The humour is great and there are plenty of ‘one liners’ to add to the chuckles.

The plot includes greed, a bit of jealousy, more than a hint of love, addiction to gambling, poverty and homelessness, and slavery. However, most of all there is the constant conniving to get hold of money that is never there.

Being a Dickens book you will see characters similar to the evil of Bill Sikes and the meanness of Scrooge.

The play has a wonderful flow of colourful words which creates a picture for you and blends so well with the period set.

The ending does not provide the perfect happy fit, but - as in life - this play demonstrated that many of the issues then are still around today. A most sobering thought.

The production runs until November 11

Miss Saigon star Ashley Gilmour - who plays American GI Chris - looks forward to playing every new venue on the musical’s mega tour - but Norfolk will be particularly special: it’s the place he calls home.

When the creator of smash 1970s sit-com Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em comes to see you bring it to life on the stage 13 times, you know you’re doing something right says Joe Pasquale.

It’s been 45 or so years since Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em blessed us with the complete daftness and hilarity of Michael Crawford’s Frank Spencer. He played a uniquely disastrous individual character that cannot be forgotten. Now imagine that today... on a live stage.

Suffolk’s Royal Ballet star Gary Avis receives an MBE “for services to Dance, and to charity in Suffolk”.

A two night stop at the Regent Theatre may not be the most rock ‘n’ roll sounding affair, but Bill Bailey brought the house down with his raucous brand of music-infused comedy.

Audiences will be going wild as X Factor winner Matt Terry will be starring in Madagascar the Musical, which comes to the Ipswich Regent from October 16-20.

An enthusiastic audience welcomed Strictly Come Dancing stars, Kevin and Karen Clifton, to the Ipswich Regent for their live show and goodness me, they were in for a treat.

Donning the famous green dress Amelia Lily is heading to the region to play Princess Fiona in the musical Shrek. The former X Factor singer tells Simon Parkin about her unconventional audition, being away from her beloved dogs.

Cast illness has forced the last-minute cancellation of a show at an Ipswich theatre.

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