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Comedy Theatre
Panton Street SW1Y 4DN
Dickens Unplugged
Comedy Theatre location mapMap ©Silvermaze Ltd 2008
Comedy Theatre photoPhoto ©Tony Reading 2008
Show Details
Preview 23rd May 08
Opens 9th June 08
Closes 29th June 08
Show Times
Mon, Wed - Sat 7.30 pm
Sunday 4.00 pm
Matinée Thus & Sat 2.30 pm

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Dickens Unplugged
Opened, reviewed June 9, 2008.

Your'e havin a laugh... when the Complete Works of shakespeare "Reduced Shakespeare Company" came out there was a lot of patronising tutting among the highbrows.
"Is nothing sacred?". Thank goodness it's not. The best thing about Brit humour
is that there just isn't a lot of sacred going on. This is the saving of our culture amidst the habeas corpus crisis and war.... (you gotta laugh). It was hailed as a show for vacationing yanks - I don't think so... Brits can laugh full stop.

The story
Here we now have 'Dickens Unplugged - a great comedy in that it threatens to take Dickens out to men and women who didn't used to like force-read dickens before.  Now they can speed read with today's understanding of the ancient nuances.  

Dickens is already a peoples' favourite in the States - I mean 'of America' as yet - so the show was written by a  former California street act who ran the Shakespeare show in the West End for 10 years while real Shakespeare was rolling on in magnificent plays in short runs each memorable in their own right. How appropriate that the theatre was called the Criterion given that criteria is a standard against which something is measured.

In general hilarious misinformation peppers the show. You can tell it's a joke by the also peppered laughter of the odd buff who 'knows'.. Otherwise much more laughter is inevitable throughout the performances.  Country and western-style music illuminate the story which also interweaves the author's life and times.

Variety's highbrow said this – "A madcap speed-through of a canonical literary oeuvre, told with distinctively North American accent and demeanor -- with the innovation that most of the narrative here is told through song . ........lack of reverence toward "Charlie D,"

You don't want to miss this one.

Sets and costumes - Lez Brotherston; lighting - Jon Clark; sound - Gareth Owen for Orbital Sound; co-director - Alex Jackson-Long; production stage manager -, Igor.

Running time: 1 HOUR, 50 MIN.
© 2008 Updated 20th June 2008