Dickens in the modern time
THEATRE Alibi are well known as contemporary storytellers, creating work both inventive and ambitious.
Their productions have received country-wide praise and they have an excellent reputation for distinctive new work that is visually and physically inventive.
They are about to launch their latest work at Exeter's Northcott Theatre and it is a new take on an old classic.
Nell Trent lives with her grandfather above the Curiosity Shop, a vintage record store.
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When the shop is repossessed by Quilp, a malignant loan shark, Nell and Grandpa are forced to hit the road.
Living rough they meet the usual suspects – con men, Good Samaritans, wide boys and buskers – on the street, at a festival, in pubs and burger bars in cities and villages across England.
Translated to the present day, Dickens' story of love, human frailty and downright wickedness has a fabulous cast of characters, from bent lawyer Sally Brass to wide-boy rapper Dick E Swiveller.
Playfully staged and incorporating film and a soundtrack that takes in hits from Elvis Presley to Professor Green, Curiosity Shop shows England to be as much a cultural curiosity shop as it ever was in Dickens' day. "It's a very exciting project with a larger cast than we've ever worked with before," said a spokesman for the company.
"We've chosen the story because it has so many parallels with what's happening in England now (debt, gambling, homelessness) but it's also a very moving and often very funny story."
The Exeter-based company have been rehearsing hard at Emmanuel Hall in St Thomas with Nikki Sved the director and Daniel Jamieson who hass adapted the novel. He has adapted previous successful Theatre Alibi productions including Spies, The Ministry of Fear and The Crowstarver.
The play is a co-production between Theatre Alibi with Exeter Northcott & Oxford Playhouse and it takes to the stage at the Northcott from March 8 to 16.
There are matinees at 1.30pm on March 13 and at 2.30pm on March 16.
For more details call 01392 493493 or visit www.exeternorthcott.co.uk