Castle Players head out on tour with Dickens classic
THE Castle Players are busy rehearsing for their annual winter tour production, which this year is an interpretation of Charles Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop, adapted for the stage by Northumberland Theatre Company’s Stewart Howson.
The players will take the show to ten community centres and village halls, starting at The Witham, Barnard Castle, on Saturday, January 18.
Audiences will follow the story of orphaned Little Nell and her ailing grandfather on a journey they are forced to undertake when their shop is seized and they are deep in debt.
In their efforts to escape the evil clutches of the loathsome moneylender Daniel Quilp, they encounter a lively collection of Dickensian characters along the way who both help and hinder their progress
A cast of eight will bring the characters to life in the spirit and style of a travelling theatre troupe, with each playing multiple roles and a stage set and props that will challenge the imagination.
Director Gordon Duffy-McGhie said: “It is very much an ensemble piece, with storytelling through physical creation of images and characters.
“Expect a very versatile wardrobe, a crocodile, drums, bells and whistles, and a colourful array of hats.
“It’s a great challenge for both the people behind the scenes and each of the actors, who may play a dodgy card gambler in one scene, and a Brummie barge boater in the next.
“The same actor plays both Nell and Quilp reflecting the struggle between good and evil which is a central theme of the play.”
After opening night, the play will be performed at the following venues:
St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook, Sunday, January 19, 3pm. Contact: 07885 597136.
All Saints and Salutation Church, Blackwell, Darlington, Saturday, January 25, 7.30pm. Contact: 01325 281487.
Ingleton Village Hall, Sunday, January 26, 3pm. Contact: 01325 730250 or 01325 730092.
Dalton and Gayles Village Hall, Friday, January 31, 7.30pm. Contact: 01833 621234.
Scarth Hall, Staindrop, Sunday, February 2, at 3pm. Contact: 07841 674937.
St Mary’s Parish Hall, Barnard Castle, Friday, February 7, 7.30pm. Contact: 01833 637714/07708 586676.
Mickleton Village Hall, Saturday, February 8, 7.30pm. Contact: 01833 640909.
Whorlton Village Hall, Friday, February 14, at 7.30pm. Contact: 01833 627419.
Cotherstone Village Hall, Sunday, February 16, 3pm. Contact: 01833 651980.