Until Sun Jan 5 2014
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Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Tue Dec 10 2013
At this time of year, stage versions Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ are as hard to avoid as festive shoppers barging into you on the way to a deal.
Which makes it easier to forget the genius behind the story – something this show does its darndest to remind us of. Mr Charles Dickens and his many tales are the subject of this irreverent 90 minutes of sketch tomfoolery, written and directed by Adam Long, a founding member of the perennially popular Reduced Shakespeare Company.
‘Dickens Abridged’ doesn’t cover all of the Victorian master’s 61 works, but Long manages to squeeze in an impressive number. Five actors perform short versions of his classics, such as a 60 second song version of ‘Little Dorrit’, plus slightly longer sketches with songs covering the likes of ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Bleak House’ and ‘Nicholas Nickleby’. All are interspersed with humourous biographical moments about Dickens’ fascinating life (did you know he worked at a boot blacking factory?).
Mark Bailey’s set holds some great surprises, not least when a massive copy of ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ is transformed into a guillotine for ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.
There’s clearly a lot of love in the room for Dickens, but there’s a lot of fun-poking too: much is made of the writer’s apparent obsession with the bludgeoning scene in ‘Oliver Twist’, as is the fact that his first wife gave birth to a rather large number of children.
It all makes for a gently witty evening, though perhaps too affectionate to really offer a night of constant belly laughs.
By Daisy Bowie-Sell
Arts Theatre 6-7 Great Newport St
- Event phone:
020 7836 8463
- Event website:
Theatre. West End. Drama
Dickens Abridged 2013 - 2014
- Date Time Price information
Thu Dec 1920:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets
Fri Dec 2020:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets
Sat Dec 2116:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets20:00
Sun Dec 2218:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets
Tue Dec 2416:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets20:00
Wed Dec 2520:00£20-£39.50
Thu Dec 2616:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets20:00
Fri Dec 2716:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets20:00
Sat Dec 2816:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets20:00
Sun Dec 2918:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets
Tue Dec 3116:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets20:00
Wed Jan 1 201420:00£20-£39.50
Thu Jan 2 201416:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets20:00
Fri Jan 3 201420:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets
Sat Jan 4 201416:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets20:00
Sun Jan 5 201418:00£20-£39.50Buy tickets
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