The Prince and The Pauper: Review

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Mark Twain’s classic tale of two worlds intertwined is told beautifully by the New Vic Theatre this Christmas.

The Prince and The Pauper transports to the Tudor period, with King Henry VIII’s reign.

Tom Richardson as King Henry VII – The Prince and the Pauper – Photo by Andrew Billington

We see the contrasting birth date of King Henry’s son Edward Tudor, Prince of Wales and Tom Canty, who grows up in a life of poverty with his abusive father.

The narrative style of the play is unique, we are told the story by a theatre group in their Elizabethan playhouse. You see the brilliant musicians on stage playing their parts and their instruments at the same time.

Artistic Director, Theresa Heskins said: “The Tudor period was new to us as a creative team. I visited Coventry’s Spon Street for inspiration.

“Set designer Laura Willstead went to research the structure of an Elizabethan playhouse, accompanying a tour group around London’s Globe Theatre.

“I enjoyed imagining her as the only person bending down to take photos of how the walls sit upon their brick foundation so that she could replicate this in the set.”

Danielle and Nichole Bird did a fabulous job of playing the Prince and the Pauper, they represented the two characters to a tee. They showed both the similarities and the striking differences between the two main characters.

Nichole Bird as Tom and Danielle Bird as Edward – The Prince and the Pauper – Photo by Andrew Billington

I split my sides watching Gareth Cassidy play both a beefeater alongside Tom Richardson while also playing the terrifying role of Mary Tudor, with his floating dress.

Gareth Cassidy as Mary Tudor – The Prince and The Pauper – Photo by Andrew Billington

One of my favourite scenes was the dance around the maypole, it was a stunning sight to behold. It is amazing what they can do with the theatre-in-the-round to create beautiful imagery.

Maypole – The Prince and the Pauper – Photo by Andrew Billington

This is certainly one of my favourite productions I have seen at the New Vic Theatre and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a hilarious night out around the Christmas period this year.

The Prince and The Pauper is at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme from Saturday 16th November 2019 to Saturday 25th January 2020. For more details call 01782 717962 or visit newvictheatre.org.uk.

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