Musicals and opera review: Great Expectations

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Fans of traditional musical theatre can tick off the conventions in this rather rote adaptation of Charles Dickens’ brilliant tale of thwarted love, class snobbery and good old-fashioned action adventure.

Star rating: **

Venue: C (Venue 34)

There are big emotive numbers, jazz hands toe-tappers and plenty of opportunity for the large ensemble to demonstrate what a powerful sound they make as a group while making a right old melodramatic fuss about a stolen pie.

All the key plot points are preserved in the Shrewsbury School’s production but much of the atmosphere and characterisation is wanting. The cast all hit their marks with requisite slickness, while maintaining that peachy keen stage presence but there is precious little attempt to portray Dickens’ marvellous gallery of grotesques with their rightful larger-than-life qualities, nor imbue the more gothic elements of the story with a sinister edge.

Until 20 August. Today 12:35pm.

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