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

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

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


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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.

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The production runs until November 11

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