It was definitely a challenge to take one of Dicken’s potboilers and turn it into a play. Michael Shamata did an admirable job. The question then is why bother? Dickens’ plots are convoluted but the oddities can be overlooked or forgotten in the long novel. Compressed into a three hour play, they are definitely in your face. Keith summed up the play as follows: ” Miss Haversham is a bitch, Estella is a bitch and Pip is a twit. They deserve what they get.”
Ignoring the fact that it was not worth the effort to turn the novel into a play, the cast and director did an admirable job of keeping the action going and the audience interested.
Jeff Lillico was an excellent Pip; Kate Trotter stumbled and staggered and raved as Miss Haversham; Oliver Becker was a wonderful Magwitch, evil and softhearted by turns; Oliver Dennis was loveable as Joe Gargery and hilarious as Mr Wemmick – his conversations with the Aged Parent were hilarious!
Overall, an ok play that should have remained a novel. But a great cast that did an excellent job in spite of it.