What the Dickens is happening at Leeds Kirkgate Market?

PLEASE SIR: Actress Georgina Franklin plays orphan Oliver Twist in the market place adaptation of the classic Dickens novel.
PLEASE SIR: Actress Georgina Franklin plays orphan Oliver Twist in the market place adaptation of the classic Dickens novel.
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Can we have some more? Those famous words from ‘Oliver Twist’ have been echoed by culture fans eager to see the curtain rise in one of the city’s most unusual theatrical venues.

Later this month, Front Room Productions will stage an adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel, which stays faithful to the story - first published in 1838 - and has an original, live musical score accompanying the action.

The scene will be set after-hours in the Victorian stalls of Kirkgate Market, bringing the twists and turns of the historic hall back to life. Theatre-goers will meet the loathsome Fagin, the vicious Bill Sikes and the self-sacrificing Nancy.

Through Dickens’ brilliant tale depicting Oliver’s struggles between hope and cruelty, and the take by director Olivia Race, the show creates a mysterious, threatening atmosphere.

Ms Race said: “The majesty of Leeds Kirkgate Market lends itself to our adaptation of Oliver Twist. It is an amazing venue to explore by night, and with our Dickensian characters leading audiences around the stalls as the plot unfolds, and our live band underscoring the action, you completely lose yourself in the haunting nature of the Victorian tale.

“The first production was a complete sell-out, so we’re delighted to be bringing the production back as the nights draw in this October. The market truly is a spectacular venue, and to be given the chance to explore its Victorian roots is something really rather exciting.”

The company specialises in theatre in unconventional spaces, and aims to showcase and celebrate Yorkshire talent.

Michael Tennant.

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