Review: Hard Times, The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Exterior of Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Photo: Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

Exterior of Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Photo: Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

The acclaimed Northern Broadsides theatre company do a superb job of reviving Dickens' Hard Times, says Robert Wright.

Written by Charles Dickens in 1854 this unusual novel by the terrific Northern Broadsides theatre company is an enthralling production. Performed with music, it is set in a Victorian Northern Mill town and highlights the social and economic inequalities giving the 'hard times' of its title.

The highly talented cast of actor/musicians are impressive and there is never a dull moment. You really need to concentrate as there is so much going on.

There are so many fascinating characters including the most pragmatic Gradgrind (Perry Moore), the boastful yet amusing Bounderby (Howard Chadwick), and the busybody Mrs Sparsit (Victoria Brazier). A particularly moving individual was Sissy (Suzanne Ahmet) who, against the odds, never lets go of hope.

Whilst there are so many amusing parts there are issues and morals that raise their ugly heads and are tackled.


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This is an exciting, witty and passionately-performed show that really does get you thinking.

Hard Times continues at the theatre until Saturday May 19.

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