The Geffrye Museum of the Home in Hoxton to host full-scale theatre production on its front lawn.
This August, after a decade and a half of creating multi-award winning free outdoor theatre at City Hall’s Scoop amphitheatre for over 3500 people, director Phil Willmott begins a new collaboration with the Geffrye Museum of the Home in Hoxton to present a boisterous new staging of Charles’ Dickens GREAT EXPECTATIONS in their grounds.
The production has been inspired by the beautiful setting of the Geffrye Museum – stunning 18th century almshouses with leafy gardens where the performances will be staged. The garden provides an oasis of calm at the heart of a modern metropolis, a meeting of the historic and the futuristic that also informs the Steam Punk movement which will inspire the look and feel of this fun and family friendly show.
Tanith Lindon, Commercial Manager at the Geffrye, says: “Inspiring and empowering Londoners from all backgrounds with the past is at the very heart of the museum’s ethos, so we’re delighted to be welcoming the Free Theatre UK team for what promises to be a fun and inspiring new project on our front lawn.”
A STEAM PUNK GREAT EXPECTATIONS
GREAT EXPECTATIONS is a cracking London story with drama, comedy, pathos and romance that has consistently entertained people for over 150 years. It includes some of Dickens’ most inventive and best loved characters including the idealistic Pip, the haughty Estella, the mysterious Magwitch, the loveable Blacksmith, Joe Gargery and especially the unforgettable Miss Havisham, who still lives amidst her rotting wedding finery, years after being jilted at the altar.
In Victorian England blacksmith’s son Pip suddenly receives an unexpected fortune from a mysterious benefactor and moves into the London home of eccentric young inventor, Herbert Pocket.
With the help of his new friend’s steam-powered inventions he recounts the story of his impoverished rural childhood including a terrifying encounter with an escaped convict, and his employment by the eccentric Miss Havisham as a play-thing for her adopted daughter Estella.
Pip has fallen in love with the aristocratic girl and it seems as if his new wealth will make him important enough to marry her. But then a series of dramatic revelations threaten his future, drawing events to a thrilling conclusion in which Pip discovers his true self.
The themes of Dickens’ novel, as dramatised by Phil Willmott, will resonate deeply with contemporary Londoners of all ages, particularly its examination of class and social mobility, exploration of love and obsession, and the questions it poses as to how we think about family.