Great Expectations

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What a stunning performance from 6 amazing actors!

This adaptation by Gale Childs Daly for the stage is completely superb, making this well-known Dicken’s novel come to life in the most engaging way.

It follows the early life of Pip, a blacksmith’s apprentice in the country. He comes into a large fortune from a secret benefactor which allows him to get educated, move to London and be a gentleman, something he’s always wanted – his own great expectations. Pip believes he knows who the benefactor is, however he is wrong and once he finds out he refuses further money. Pip is also in love with Estella, however she does not return these feelings and is cold towards him… there are many interesting twists and turns to the story and many characters whom Pip has dealings with, yet there are only 6 actors!

Stanton Wright, who plays Pip throughout, is superb. However, the other cast members play all the other characters with such expertise and talent, you sincerely believe there are more cast members.

Whereas they have their main character to play, for example Emily Pollet is Miss Haversham, she is also Pip’s older sister and others, the rest of the cast are also the Narrators of the play. This is where the adaptation is wonderful.

The Narrators take you through the book, through the story in such a beautiful and clever way. Indeed all the speaking parts of the book are spoken by the right characters, the descriptions, or back story, or character’s thoughts are told by the Narrators.

And not just in a boring block of a paragraph from a book, the prose is shared between them, while they are either acting, moving props, or lurking in the shadows. They utterly bring these parts to life and it works exceptionally well. There are tiny and clever costume changes for the different characters, but because of these talented actors whom have the ability to tune in and out of different characters in an instant, the audience are completely engaged.

The Narrators have no need to describe the environment as the impressive multifunctional set does this and brings your imagination right in front of your eyes. With the expert lighting, and minimal props, the stage is able to depict many locations along Pip’s journey into adult hood.

Everything about this show is brilliant, it was entertaining from start to finish. It won’t matter if you have or haven’t read the book or seen any screen adaptations – this version for the stage is splendid in every way and is highly recommended!!

Photos by Pamela Raith

This review appeared on GrapevineLIVE


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