Dickens’ hard-hitting novel about the brutal realities and materialistic spirit of Victorian industrial capitalism is presented in a stylized pantomime, music-hall and circus format, with the circus performers acting act out the story of Hard Times. Charles Dickens himself is prevailed upon to play the role of the grim Thomas Gradgrind. The characters include Mrs Gradgrind (who at one point jumps out of her coffin to join in a tap-dance); their daughter, Louisa, who is married off to Bounderby, the callous humbug; and the villainous rake, Harthouse, who preys on poor Louisa.
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Hard Times (2000-06-Haymarket Theatre-London)Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Haymarket Theatre (Londres - Angleterre) Durée : 2 mois 3 semaines Nombre : 95 représentationsPremière Preview : lundi 22 mai 2000Première : mardi 06 juin 2000Dernière : samedi 26 août 2000Mise en scène : Chris Tookey • Chorégraphie : Craig Revel Horwood • Producteur : Avec : Brian Blessed (Dickens/Gradgrind), Roy Hudd (Samuel Sleary), Ann Emery (Mrs Sleary/Mrs Gradgrind), Helen Anker (Louisa), Malcolm Rennie (Bounderby), Peter Blake (Harthouse), Susan-Jane Tanner, Matt Rawle, Ray C. DavisCommentaires : The circus-format derived from the appearance in the novel of Samuel Sleary’s travelling circus, but the whole jolly format came over as a send-up of the novel, rather than a musical. The musical style ranged from Gilbert & Sullivan to romantic ballads and vaudeville numbers and the show itself was amiable, silly and old fashioned. With Brian Blessed (“never knowingly underplayed”) and Roy Hudd in an extension of his glorious music-hall acts, this was a curious mish-mash, and came off on August 26th after just three months.Presse : THE TIMES says, "A warm, thoroughly likeable evening, but not one that fulfils Dickens's more serious aims.."
THE GUARDIAN says, "This tuppence-coloured tuner reminds us of the days when the musical was a source of innocent delight."
THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "Once it gets going, it is amiable and rather charming, and it has a warmth about it that is very welcome after some of the more soulless blockbuster musicals. "
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH critic says " I particularly relished the moment when Mrs Gradgrind got up and performed an energetic tap dance after her big death scene - dramatic energy burns at a dismally low wattage."
THE DAILY MAIL, liked the show saying Brian Blessed is "Delightful, and Roy Hudd "is a Hoot"
THE NEWS OF THE WORLD says it "will send audiences home with warm hearts and a spring, in their step".
PETER HEPPLE for THE STAGE says, "What we see is an engaging but overlong mixture of music hall, circus and the kind of British musical that fell out of fashion in the seventies."
DOMINIC CAVENDISH for TIME OUT says, "This show has an intimate scale, a sense of humour and a respect for such old-fashioned virtues as a narrative you can follow and tunes you could, in theory hum."
NICHOLAS DE JONGH did not like it at all calling it "Boring" and saying, "This three-hour Hard Times could do with major surgery".
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