James continues his run of successful one man performances at OPEN and The Orchard Cafe with Oliver Twist
James re-creates Dickens’ own legendary public readings of his novels. This versatile actor brings to life a host of well loved characters including Mr Bumble, Fagin and The Artful Dodger, Sikes and Nancy, the sinister Mr Monks and, of course, Oliver himself in a faithful, funny, thrilling and hard hitting re-telling of this classic novel.
“SUPERB… I didn’t want to come back to earth!” – Northampton Chronicle and Echo
“James Hornsby is a fantastic performer…
Please sir, can I have some more…?” – TowcesterLibrary
“Dickens was never like this at school…………!!!” Kettering Library
Curtain up at 7.30pm. Food and refreshments available from 6.30pm
A versatile actor with a wealth of professional experience, James has appeared in over one-hundred and fifty theatrical productions on television, the West-End stage and in numerous regional theatres. A regular performer with the renowned Hull Truck Theatre Company, James has worked with some of the country’s leading playwrights including Sir Alan Ayckbourn (COMIC POTENTIAL/Lyric theatre: Shaftesbury Ave), John Godber (Several national tours of BOUNCERS and UP ‘N’ UNDER/Hull Truck Theatre), Richard Cameron (THE GLEE CLUB/Duchess Theatre and THE FLANNELETTES/Kings Head Theatre) and Dame Kay Mellor (A PASSIONATE WOMAN/The New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich and Oldham Coliseum). James has appeared on television (SILENT WITNESS/DOCTORS/THE BILL). He has also appeared in many acclaimed productions at Northampton’s Royal Theatre.
He has successfully adapted Charles Dickens’ novelsOLIVER TWIST, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, DAVID COPPERFIELD and Bram Stoker’s DRACULA into amazing one man performances and his adaptation of Dickens’ most seasonal of novels, A CHRISTMAS CAROL,is no exception. James comes to OPEN with a host of Charles Dickens’ wonderful characters, including Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley, The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Mr and Mrs Fezziwig and of course, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. All brought to life in the “inimitable style of Dickens” own legendary public readings.
Charles DICKENS & Oliver Twist
The publication of Oliver Twist began before the monthly publication of The Pickwick Papers ended. The two novels overlapped for nine months. Additionally Dickens started Nicholas Nickleby (also issued in monthly installments) before Twist finished publication. Those two novels overlapped for nine months as well.
InOliver Twist Dickens attacks the New Poor Law of 1834. The New Poor Law was really a series of measures that were enacted in 1834. Supposedly these laws were to provide aid and assistance to impoverished people. However the system had serious flaws.
People with no means of support were sent to workhouses. The system was designed with the idea that the workhouses would be unpleasant. It was thought that this would provide added incentive for people to be self sufficient.
As a result of that thinking the food in the workhouses was meager and meals were to be eaten in silence. Upon entering the workhouse families were separated and assigned to same-sex quarters. Also, the children were separated from the adults. Infants were sent to baby farms.
Rather than finding this treatment motivational, it broke the spirit of many people forced to live there. The adventures of young Oliver Twist make this point.
Charles Dickens used his novel to point out truths about Victorian England that polite society tried to ignore. After reading the novel Lord Melbourne protested, It is all among workhouses and pickpockets and coffinmakers. I do not like those things: I wish to avoid them. I do not like them in reality and therefore do not like to see them represented.
Photographs James Thorpe used by kind permission.