Untold Theatre present an interesting take on the Dickens’ classic in this quirky play. It follows the premise of what happens to Pip but with more focus on the backstories of the two female leads: Estella and the infamous Miss Havisham.
The young ladies who take on both roles are outstanding in them, particularly Miss Havisham who, in a close parallel with the poem by Carol Ann Duffy of the same name, is able to effectively show her tormented character which sways between a deep unshakeable love for her former fiancé and a bitter, twisted side which has descended into a madness almost uncomfortable to watch because of the successful creepy performance.
Particularly striking too is the backdrop which is used cleverly to show some of the more difficult transitions, such as Pip growing up, the tempestuous fight between Estella’s parents, and the fire which kills Miss Havisham. The music too would be a successful addition, if it wasn’t so badly cut leading to awkward jarring at key moments.
The acting is of a pretty high standard and the narrator (Mr Jaggers, the lawyer) pulls the whole play together, but why they have two of the creepiest puppets I have ever seen to “play” the children is not clear. They add nothing to the play in what is perhaps a case of trying to hard.
And so is the play “Beyond Expectations”? No, but it meets them comfortably and there will be many performances at the Fringe which fail to do even that.