Dickens for Dinner
- Gareth K Vile
- 10 August 2018
This article is from 2018
Not as tasty as the croissant course
Coming from the same team and cast as Shakespeare for Breakfast, Dickens for Dinner follows the same format: a pantomime reinterpretation of a classic (Great Expectations) with a mixture of storytelling, broad comedy and contemporary references. Unlike the morning show, unfortunately Dickens doesn't lend itself easily to brief adaptation, and the plot, filled with melodramatic surprises, becomes dull as it overwhelms the cast's ability to find humour in the costume and scene changes.
There is plenty of fun, but usually at the expense of the novel: water-pistols, audience interaction, comments on the cheapness of the production. Not having anything to do with the plot or themes, these are shoved into a narrative that degenerates into a series of commentaries.
The cast are lively and fun, have an easy manner with each other and the audience, and the hour rarely drags. But the humour never really engages with Great Expectations except in the broadest manner, and the trail of amusingly named characters can't even be saved by a top impersonation of Mick Jagger. The inevitable madness scenes with Miss Havisham are predictable and crass, and the script doesn't so much affectionately mock Dickens as try to pretend the novel is incidental.
C, until 27 Aug (not 13), 1.05pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£5.50–£7.50).