Common Ground Theatre Company


Friday 3rd November 2017 - 7:30 pm


by Charles Dickens adapted by Pat Whymark & Julian Harries

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.

The novel was a sensation when it was serialised in 1940-41. The excitement at the release of the last installment has been compared to the publishing of the last Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. 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"

Karl Marx asserted that Dickens "issued to the world more political and social truths than have been uttered by all the professional politicians, publicists and moralists put together".

Our production will feature original folk music by Pat Whymark, played and sung by our talented troupe of actor-musicians.