Dickens For Dinner was a new addition to the Fringe world last year being, of course, the logical meal-based spin off from Shakespeare For Breakfast. Except this time, instead of a croissant and a coffee you get soup and a roll. Both of which are given to you outside the performance space which removes all the baked-goods jeopardy of it’s breakfast brethren.
The show is performed by the cast of Shakespeare For Breakfast and the same level of love, care and idiocy is put into this afternoon show as you’d find in the morning one. With one important – and crucial addition – Roseanna will invariably be an urchin. Which is, probably, the best thing to ever happen anywhere. Ever.
It’s safe to say her cockney-rhyming Tiny Tim from last year has stuck with me. It might even be my spirit animal.
This year she plays Pip from Great Expectations. And she’s off doing those little feet together kicks so beloved of the urchin community. It’s magical.
Now, I am massively uncultured. I don’t really know the works of Dickens. If the Muppets haven’t made it into a movie, I don’t have a clue. And the Muppets have not made Great Expectations. I knew some stuff because I have a vague sense of reference, but the source material could have been a spoon with a face on it for all I knew.
It was bloody good though. Chris – a bearded man – fighting with himself – a bearded man with a false beard. John playing Mr Jaggers as Mick Jagger (I remember David Bowie in A Christmas Carol for some reason that escapes me right now…) – a reference written into the script as lost on Roseanna because she’s so young. And Emily really channelling Miss Haversham burning to death. It was all brilliant.
It’s the sort of thing that you should be asked to study at school. I remember watching a VHS (Roseanna knows not what these are, either) of Macbeth over many, many English lessons. We could have watched this in one. And I’ve have sort of understood the story and everything.
If you only book one show to see at the Fringe it should be Shakespeare For Breakfast. But if you only book two, definitely include this one as well.
Plus the soup, aside from the undisclosed remnants at the bottom of the cup, was really nice too.