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Powerful New Play Gives a Fresh Twist to Dickens’ Criminal Fagin

By Published February 01, 2019

A POWERFUL new play gives a fresh twist to Charles Dickens’ notorious criminal Fagin at Middlesbrough Theatre.

After their highly acclaimed national touring production of Old Herbaceous, South East based theatre company Kick in the Head, return to Middlesbrough Theatre with a new play called Fagin? on Thursday, February 14.

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

The play stars Keith Hill (Lost in Space & Yes, Prime Minister) as Fagin, Giles Shenton (Old Herbaceous & ITVs The Big Audition) as Bill and introduces Georgia Butt as Nancy. 

Downing starts from the premise that Dickens provided no back story for Fagin, but the character is widely thought to have been based on Ikey Solomon, a notorious criminal and fence in the early 19th century.

Dickens was a court reporter before turning to fiction, and it is believed 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,” adds Downing, “think again.”

“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

“It is a powerful piece of work…it deserves to become an eventual classic…this small masterpiece could well be a theatrical staple…you would be a fool to yourself to miss it.” Alton Herald

  • Fagin? comes to Middlesbrough Theatre on Thursday, February 14 at 7.30pm.

Tickets from www.middlesbroughtheatre.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01642 81 51 81.



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