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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

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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

Kevin Kennedy will forever be best known as Coronation Street’s loveable loser Curly Watts, but he is also a stage star. His latest role is an all-star musical version of Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends, which allows him to rekindle his love of this region.

Fresh from being ravaged by hunger and sand-flies on Channel 4’s Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls, Shazia Mirza returns with a show about lies and truth - or are they the same thing these days?

The 80s are officially back, with Fame The Musical coming to the Ipswich Regent later this year.

The cast of new musical An Officer and a Gentleman has been revealed, featuring top West End talent.

Taj Mahal chef Sayid swaps the kitchen for the stage in The Chef Show, part of PULSE presents.

Crazy for You at the Ipswich Regent, all week until Saturday.

Energetic and intense, dynamic and diverse; it’s a fast paced musical and lyrical journey for Teddy and his young girlfriend Josie.

They say never work with children or animals but Norwell Lapley Productions do both very well in bringing Rod Campbell’s timeless children’s book Dear Zoo to life on stage, writes MICHAEL STEWARD.

Known best perhaps for playing Brookside’s Lindsey Corkhill, Claire Sweeney’s causing just as much trouble as bridezilla Irene in the classic musical Crazy For You, at the Ipswich Regent from Tuesday.

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