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404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH
Ended 30 Mar 2013 after 57 days
A striking piece of theatre
Charles Dickens' classic coming-of-age novel takes to the stage in this riveting West End revival. Turning the 600-page classic into a two-hour play is no mean feat and playwright Jo Clifford achieves the task with aplomb by transplanting the far-reaching action into a single room; the play is set in Miss Havisham 's cobwebbed dining room while a grown-up Pip looks back to his youth.
Memories are made flesh as the ghosts of Pip's past play out important moments in his life - there is certainly a Tim Burton-esque feel to the play, reflected in the white faces, black lipstick and gothic dress of the story's crooked Dickensian characters as they are conjured up by Pip to converse in colourful cockney accents.
As a young child, the orphaned Pip lives with his sister and her husband, the village blacksmith. While roaming the marshes he encounters an escaped convict who coerces him into fetching food and tools to free him from his irons. He is later captured, but never reveals that Pip helped him.
A few years later, Pip is sent to entertain the embittered Miss Havisham, a spectral jilted bride, and her adopted daughter, Stella. Pip instantly falls in love with the glacial Stella, who states baldly that she can never love anybody. Dismissed from Miss Havisham's service, a disappointed Pip sets out to become an apprentice blacksmith when he receives a large sum of money from a mysterious benefactor, an event that will change Pip's fortunes and fate.
Previews from: 1 February 2013
Opening night: 11 February 2013
Closing night: 30 March 2013
Great Expectations is suitable for audiences aged 12 and upwards
Two hours and 20 minutes with one interval
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