Derby Theatre: Great Expectations news.

Derby Theatre brings this classic story to life in Neil Bartlett’s brilliant adaptation, using the magnificent language of Dickens’ original. Runs Fri 29th September to Sat 21st October.

Christmas Eve 1812, and a young orphan boy, Pip, stumbles upon a convict hiding out amongst the graves of the village churchyard. Terrified for his life, the boy agrees to help him. Two years on and Pip is invited to visit Satis House, the home of the wealthy, reclusive spinster Miss Havisham and her beautiful yet manipulative adopted daughter Estella. Falling deeply in love with Estella’s beauty, Pip vows to better himself and become a gentleman. But it is the chance meeting with Magwitch in the churchyard which has already set in motion a journey of transformation and discovery, forever changing the fortunes and destiny of young Pip.

Don’t miss Sarah Brigham’s bold new production, featuring a talented ensemble of actors and evocative music from Ivan Stott, as it brings the Dickensian world of Estella, Miss Havisham and Pip to Derby Theatre’s stage.



Derby Theatre is thrilled to announce the casting line-up for their big production for the autumn, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations adapted by Neil Bartlett, on at Derby Theatre from Fri 29 September until Saturday 21 October.

Neil Bartlett writer (Photo by Ulf Andersen/Getty Images)

Playing the iconic Miss Havisham will be Polly Lister. Polly has appeared in two previous Derby Theatre productions, Lee Hall’s Cooking with Elvis directed by Mark Babych, and Solace of the Road directed by Sarah Brigham. Polly’s other credits include Abigail’s Party (Theatre by the Lake); The Borrowers and 101 Dalmatians (New Vic Theatre, Stoke) and I Was Wife (Dukes Theatre, Lancaster).

Robert Beck will play the convict Magwitch. Robert has a wealth of TV credits to his name including: Coronation Street, Waterloo Road, Casualty, Hollyoaks and Judge John Deed, to name just a few, and for theatre: Bengal Lily (Manchester Royal Exchange); Ring Around the Humber (Hull Truck) and Going to the Chapel (Salisbury Playhouse).

Geoffrey Breton, new to Derby audiences, will play Pip. Geoffrey’s credits include Inspector George Gently, Doctors and Blue Murder for TV, and for theatre: Bell, Book and Candle (New Vic Theatre, Stoke) and David Copperfield (Bolton Octagon).

Kate Spencer, who hails from Derbyshire, will play Estella. Kate’s recent credits include Rift and A Long Morning Quiet (Sheffield Crucible).

Within the cast of nine  is Helena Rimmer as Sarah Pocket. Helena, who lives in the city, will be joining the cast under The Brian Weaver Fellowship, as the third year recipient of the scheme. Helena graduated from the University of Derby with a first class Theatre Arts degree in 2013. During her time as a student, and since graduating, Helena has appeared in Alice in Wonderland at Derby Theatre and has worked and performed with professional theatre companies including New Perspectives, Uncontained Arts, Hush Hush Theatre Company and Forward Theatre.

Great Expectations will be directed by Sarah Brigham, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Derby Theatre.

Sarah said: “Great Expectations is a show I have wanted to direct for a long time and I am absolutely thrilled with the hugely talented cast we have assembled; an exciting mixture of familiar and new faces to Derby Theatre audiences. A company of nine performers, with an extraordinary wealth of acting credits between them, I can’t wait to start rehearsals on this great adaptation by Neil Bartlett. Audiences can expect to be immersed into a delightful Dickensian world in our bold, fast-moving production of this Dickens’ classic performed by a wonderful ensemble of performers with a thrilling and evocative score.” Great Expectations is adapted by Neil Bartlett, directed by Sarah Brigham, designed by Barney George, composed by Ivan Stott and lighting designed by Tim Skelly.


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