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David Porter » Reviews » Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Hotbuckle Theatre at Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 19 October 2011.

Charles Dickens wrote some cracking tales, and this version of a classics was innovative, compelling and dramatic. Produced in story-telling theatre style, with direct-address insights, a talented cast of just five brought to life the rich tapestry of characters who peopled Dickens’ bleak landscape.

Artistic Director, adapter of script and director of the piece, Adrian Preater led as the convict Magwitch, determined to make Pip (a credible Ben Warwick) into a gentleman. Fiona Leaning was Pip’s hard sister and the mysterious Miss Haversham.

Bobbi O’Callaghan played the cold Estella superbly and Christian Rennie completed the company as the affable Joe and the aloof solicitor, Jaggers. Pip was always Pip, but the rest took on the range of minor roles convincingly.

The richness of description, grotesqueness of life and often ironic humour of the original was captured and delivered with a deceptive lightness of touch. Changes with versatile boxes and flowing drapes created memorable scenes as the narrative flowed.

This was a production delivered on the great expectations in full measure. Hotbuckle will be welcomed back to the Seagull on their next tour without doubt.

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