Saddleworth Players

We’re looking for an actor to play two characters for a show in six weeks’ time ...

If I were to tell you all about the slapping, beating, and whipping I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I was about to introduce a stage re-make of 50 Shades of Grey, but you would in fact be wrong. I am actually introducing a very exciting modern take on Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

My name is Jake Talbot and I play Herbert Pocket and Mr Wopsle. By accepting the challenge of taking on these two very demanding roles with only six weeks to rehearse I find myself writing a blog for the show in a week’s time. I will be talking to you about the show, the rehearsals and hopefully a little bit about myself.

The beginning might be a useful place to start. I was a late casting to the show after the previous actor dropped out. I was drafted in two weeks after rehearsals had already begun and I got to meet Karen, the lovely director, and most of the cast. This being my first show at Millgate Arts Centre, and with Saddleworth Players, it was very helpful for me that this show is very reliant on a very close nit ensemble, which allowed me to quickly gain relationships with other members of the cast, who have all been lovely.

The story of Great Expectations follows the story of Pip, the protagonist and narrator of the show. He begins with the sole dream of becoming a blacksmith like his brother-in-law, Joe. That is until he meets Miss Havisham, a bitter, wealthy old lady, who wants to inflict revenge on all the male sex after being left at the altar. She plans on doing this through Estella, her adopted daughter who instils into Pip the shame of having common roots. There and then he longs to be a gentleman. He then discovers an anonymous benefactor who gifts him the opportunity of becoming such and we follow the story as learns how to become a gentleman, learns to live with this newfound wealth and attempts to discover the true benefactor to his success.

In the technical rehearsals of the show, we began rehearsing in costumes and with the many props that are required, including some very fiery pyrotechnics, the show is beginning to look spectacular, the lighting looks great, the music and sound effects sound amazing, and the show is gaining a great pace and fluidity that a great Dickens play lends itself to. With extremely desirable costumes, great sound and lighting and some of Dickens’ best characters. The show is looking great and would be great for all audiences to see. So if you haven’t booked your tickets, and this isn’t coming from a biased opinion, I would recommend doing so now.

Jake Talbot, Nov 30, 2017