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Theatre Reviews


The premise of this show is that Charles Dick­ens has come to present a pub­lic read­ing of excerpts from the first draft of his new nov­el Bleak Expec­ta­tions. Eden Bal­lan­tyne cer­tain­ly fits the bill as a stand in for Dick­ens as I would imag­ine him to be. He is well dressed in the fash­ion of Vic­to­ri­an Eng­land. He is tall with a smart­ly groomed beard and an affa­ble man­ner. The sto­ry he tells is a mashup of a num­ber of Dick­ens’ nov­els, tak­ing char­ac­ters and plots from the var­i­ous nov­els and blend­ing them togeth­er to form a new narrative. 

While I found his pre­sen­ta­tion a lit­tle dry at times, I still thought he did a decent job of nar­rat­ing his sto­ry. He deliv­ers the sto­ry in calm, even dis­tinct tones, punc­tu­at­ed with a more the­atri­cal approach in the more dra­mat­ic parts of the sto­ry. Most of the voic­es he gives to the var­i­ous char­ac­ters are done quite well. The prob­lem I had with this show lies with the sto­ry itself. While cer­tain­ly in the style of Dick­ens, I didn’t feel the cob­bled togeth­er ele­ments coa­lesced into a com­pelling sto­ry line. With­out a strong nar­ra­tive, the show became an assort­ment of scenes from Dick­ens nov­els which, while enjoy­able in parts, over­all failed to hold my interest.

Venue 10 — Plan­e­tar­i­um Audi­to­ri­um
Sto­ry­telling
60 Min­utes
Parental Guid­ance
Warn­ings: Mild lan­guage, vio­lent content