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REVIEW: Hard Times at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds

Northern Broadsides' Hard Times. Picture: Nobby Clark.
Northern Broadsides' Hard Times. Picture: Nobby Clark.

As a tale of blighted hope and smothered spirit, Hard Times at Bury St Edmunds' Theatre Royal could, in lesser hands, easily have been a slog for an audience.

However, Northern Broadsides has produced an energetic, witty and colourful take on the Dickens story.

The play centres on Coketown where imagination is forbidden and institutions such as the school, factory and bank rule with their cold, hard logic.

The colours and vibrancy of Sleary's Circus occasionally break through the choking cloud of repression.

The skilful and engaging production adds depth to Dickens' larger than life characters while musical numbers elevate the emotions with splashes of humour throughout.

It runs until Saturday, May 19.

For tickets, visit www.theatreroyal.org

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