Old Curiosity Shop at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Common Ground Theatre Company present their new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale The Old Curiosity Shop.

Featuring original folk music by Pat Whymark, played and sung by a talented troupe of actor-musicians It is being staged at the Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds, from Thursday to Saturday, November 9 to 11.

Little Nell Trent lives with her devoted grandfather in his London shop, a magical place filled from wall to wall with dust-laden treasures. He keeps his nocturnal gambling a secret but becomes deeply in debt to the villainous loan shark Quilp.

When he gambles away what little money they have, The Old Curiosity Shop is seized by Quilp as payment and Nell and her grandfather are forced to flee London. On the run and with Quilp on their trail, the pair fall in with a succession of colourful characters, some friendly, some ominous.

Charles Dickens’ novel was a sensation when it was serialised in 1840-41. The excitement of the release of the last instalment has been compared to the publishing of the last Harry Potter novel. It was so popular that New York readers stormed the wharf when the ship bearing the final instalment arrived in 1841.

In The Old Curiosity Shop, Dickens gave to the world some of his most enduring fictional characters, such as the almost demonic Daniel Quilp, the rakish but good-hearted Dick Swiveller and The Marchioness.

Common Ground Theatre Company makes a welcome return to Theatre Royal, their previous productions include Stuff in the Attic and The Count of Monte Cristo.

Adapted by Pat Whymark and Julian Harries, The Old Curiosity Shop is a treat for fans of Dickens’ work and newcomers alike.

Tickets are available now from the Box Office on 01284 769505 or www.theatreroyal.org

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