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THAME PLAYERS: Powerful New Play gives Fagin a Fresh Twist

Thame Players Fagin (2)

After their highly acclaimed productions of Old Herbaceous and My Dog’s Got No Nose, London-based theatre company Kick In The Head return to the Players’ Theatre, Thame with a new play called Fagin?, based on the character of Fagin in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.

Written by acclaimed director and playwright Simon Downing, it centres on Fagin’s last night in prison and his descent into madness before being hanged. It also provides an opportunity to find out who Fagin really was.

Downing starts from the premise that Dickens didn’t provide a back story for Fagin, but his character is widely believed to have been based on Ikey Solomon, a notorious criminal and fence in the early nineteenth century. Dickens was a court reporter before turning to fiction, and it’s more than possible that he covered Solomon’s sensational Old Bailey trial in June 1830. Much of Solomon’s well-documented life story has therefore been appropriated for the play.

‘If you think you know Fagin’,

says Downing,

‘think again’.

The setting is simple, the themes (love, greed, deception, betrayal, regret and retribution) universal, the subtle interplay between the three actors intense, and the background of Oliver Twist so familiar that ‘…this small masterpiece could well become a theatrical staple… you would be a fool to yourself to miss it!’ (Alton Herald).

‘All three actors in the roles of Fagin (Keith Hill), Bill (Giles Shenton) and Nancy (Georgia Butt) deliver impeccable performances. In the centre of it all, the audience is captivated by Fagin’s diverse, manipulative and complex character.’ (The Reviews Hub)

Fagin? is being performed at The Players Theatre, Nelson Street, Thame OX9 2DP on Saturday 26 January 2019 at 7.45pm. Tickets are £12.00 each and available from Spear Travels, Greyhound Walk, Thame, telephone 01844 217228 or online from www.thameplayers.co.uk

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