December 7 2013 Latest news:
By Alan Davies
Thursday, November 1, 2012
IT’S the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birthday this year and one of the writer’s greatest works will be brought to the stage in Welwyn Garden City next month.
Artist, musician and performer Nick Ellis, the creator of book and animated video The Illustrated Hard Times, will be delivering a live version of the mid-19th century classic from Dickens at theatres and National Trust properties across Britain between now and Christmas.
And one of the stop off points will be at the Hawthorne Studio, Campus West, on Saturday, December 1.
With a backdrop of hundreds of projected illustrations and the soundscape of his original music, Nick brings the extraordinary characters to life.
In a show lasting 90 minutes, he performs all of the characters.
Adapted by Ros Connelly and Nick Ellis, Hard Times is edgy and hilarious and a great seasonal piece of entertainment.
Nick’s wonderful characterisation of this story, particularly his personification of a composite Dickens figure such as Josiah Bounderby, or his friend (sometime father-in-law) Gradgrind is a trully memorable experience.
It was Rosie Humphreys, of Cambridge Touring Theatre, who spotted while visiting Nick’s studios in Cambridge that the material would make a great live show.
She knew that Nick was a performer and talented musician and with it being Dickens’ bicentenary, a show about the renowned British author would be very acceptable to theatres across the country.
Nick pioneered the use of his projected graphics in his musical Pirate Jenny, which toured the country in 2007. In Pirate Jenny, for the first time, real actors interacted with cartoon characters on video.
The British Theatre Guide described it as “an inspired amalgam of superb acting, amusing animation and, for good measure, racy tunes”.