Great Expectations – Getting to know Victoria Hamblen

Victoria Hamblen Headshot

Victoria began performing at the age of 3. As she grew up, Victoria tried a diverse range of dance styles from ballet to hip hop. She expanded on this, performing in many professional and semi-professional theatrical productions as a teenager. At university, Victoria participated in various productions at the Greenwood Theatre, such as Fame, and Hot Mikado ‘Pitti Sing’, then concluded her amateur run with touring productions of The Taming of the Shrew (2013), where she played the role of ‘Bianca’, and ‘Jacqueline’ in Moliere’s The Reluctant Doctor. Since then Victoria set up, and has been running Cyphers theatre company with Marcus J. Bazley, also performing in many Cyphers productions to date.

 

Quick Questions…

1. What’s your favourite scene or character from ‘Great Expectations’?

When Pip leaves Estella forever. It’s so poignant, and makes me cry every time!

2. What’s the last project you worked on?

The Cyphers Chekhov Double Bill (‘The Proposal’ and ‘The Boor’)

3. What’s the last book you read?

‘Villette’ by Charlotte Bronte

4. Not a lot of people know that I…

speak Mandarin.

5. What really grinds your gears?

When people talk when watching a film.

 
You can hear Victoria Hamblen playing Estella / Mrs Joe in our upcoming radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hourfrom Sunday 3rd January 2016.

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Available to download or stream here.

 

Great Expectations – Getting to know Alexander Pankhurst

Alex

Training: Royal Holloway University of London

Recent Credits include: ‘Jack’ in Staying Alive (Pleasance Theatre with Blackshaw), ‘Demetrius’ and ‘Bottom’ in A Midsummer Nights Dream, ‘Boy’ in Panther, ‘Gerry’ in Dearly Departed, ‘Mal’ in Captcha, ‘Arnold’ in I’ll take a Dozen Accountants…with Sprinkles, ‘Christopher Marlowe’ in Death of Marlowe, ‘Major Steve’ in Love in Freefall, ‘Ash’ in A Million Things, ‘Borachio’ in Much Ado About Nothing, ‘Mercutio’ in Romeo and Juliet, ‘Valentine’ in Two Gentlemen of Verona, ‘Thomas Carnacki’ in Audience with the Ghostfinder, ‘Tom’ in Rabbit, ‘Richard III’ in The Shakespeare Conspiracy, ‘Jamie’ in Airport and ‘Dr Alfred Prunesquallor’ in Gormenghast: Titus Groan.

Quick Questions…

1. What’s your favourite scene or character from ‘Great Expectations’?

It would have to be Will’s Miss Havisham. Delightfully deranged!

2. What’s the last project you worked on?

Blackshaw’s ‘Staying Alive’ at the Pleasance in November.

3. What’s the last book you read?

Malazan Book of the Fallen 05 – Midnight Tides – Steven Erikson, if you like fantasy you will love this series. I cannot recommend it enough.

4. Not a lot of people know that I…

once ate two foot long subs in one sitting.

5. What really grinds your gears?

Slow walkers and people who are rude. (But not those who are rude to slow walkers)

 

You can hear Alexander Pankhurst playing Sergeant / Jaggers in our upcoming radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

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Available to download or stream here.

 

Great Expectations – Cast & Creatives

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Adaptation by Marcus Bazley

CAST

Compeyson / Porter / Galley – Marcus J. Bazley

Magwitch / Pumblechook – Dylan Lincoln

Narrator - Jeremy Drakes
Narrator – Jeremy Drakes
Estella / Mrs Joe - Victoria Hamblen
Estella / Mrs Joe – Victoria Hamblen
rupert sadler headshots
Pip – Rupert Sadler
Christopher Anderton
Joe / Wemmick / Drummle – Christopher Anderton
Alex
Sergeant / Jaggers – Alexander Pankhurst
© Michael Wharley Photography 2014
Miss Havisham – Jessica Brien
Will Holyhead Headshot
Herbert Pocket – William Holyhead
Rosie
Biddy – Rosie Marsh

CREATIVES

Staying Alive Read Through
Sound Recordist / Designer / Engineer – Andrew Crane
Helen Johnson Producer
Producer – Helen Johnson
Iasha Chapman Associate Producer
Associate Producer – Iasha Chapman

Listen to our radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

Great Expectations – Marcus Bazley’s Adaptation

Unlike a lot of people, I never studied Great Expectations at school. From talking to friends who have, it seems to have spoilt their enjoyment of the novel no end! My only engagement with the novel before reading it, in late 2014, was the BBC TV adaptation from the previous Christmas.

There were two things that struck me immediately on reading the novel myself:

First, it was a first person narrative. This completely changed by understanding of the novel. This was not simply a story – this was a memory. A memory has the ability to deceive and distort events, making the narrative much more nuanced and complex. It also meant that our narrator was inherently fallible.

Second, it was surprisingly funny! Dickens is such an instinctively witty writer – he loves to poke fun at his characters and at his audience – and Great Expectations is no exception. (Although one would be forgiven for thinking it was a story exclusively about nasty rich people and cobwebs from the numerous adaptations.) I was, therefore, determined to reintroduce this lightness to the story and, in doing so, balance its darker moments with moments of genuine comedy.

These were the two main motivations for creating the original stage adaptation that Cyphers performed in February 2015. That and the way in which the casting perfectly suited our company of actors at the time.

The idea for a radio version first occurred to me while I was at Blackshaw’s fifth birthday party. During the afternoon of celebrations, extracts from Blackshaw’s previous radio drama ‘Audience with the Ghost Finder’ were played and a desire for more radio drama for the Arts Hour was expressed. Since finishing Great Expectations on stage, I had been desperate to do more with the script and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

Going back to the script with a new medium in mind was an absolute joy and it gave me the chance to hone and tighten the adaptation after a bit of breathing space. Plus we would be able to explore the central Cyphers ethos of inspiring the audience’s imagination in a new way. The result, I hope, is a version of Great Expectations that is true to the original tone of the novel, bringing out both its light and its shade, as a man tells his listeners the very personal story of his life.

– Marcus Bazley

CK1ZY_YWoAAey7z

 

You can listen to Marcus’ adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

 

Great Expectations – Getting to know Christopher Anderton

Christopher Anderton

Christopher trained at The Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre. He has appeared in a variety of productions including: The Three Sisters and Women Beware Women. He has worked in numerous productions at the the Royal Opera House, with David McVicar in Salome and Adriana Lecouvreur, and also with Paul Curran on The Tsar’s Bride. He toured Uruguay and Argentina with a new production entitled The Feather Pillow. For Sell A Door Theatre Company, he played Sherlock Holmes in The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Amos in The Man Who Had All The Luck and, last year, he toured the UK for 6 months with Kidnapped.
Chris has also recently played the title role in Cyphers’ first production, Henry V.  Following that he played the roles of Joe, Wemmick and Bentley Drummle in Cyphers’ second production, Great Expectations, and also appeared in Cyphers’ Checkhov Double Bill.

 

You can hear Christopher Anderton playing Joe / Wemmick / Drummle in our upcoming radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

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Available to download or stream here.

 

Great Expectations – Getting to know Rupert Sadler

rupert sadler headshots

Rupert Sadler is studying English Literature at King’s College London. Enthusiastic about drama, Rupert has been involved in student productions including Cabaret, Twelfth Night, King Lear, Guilty Parties and is also a member of the Running A-Mock Improv Troupe during his time at Kings. Rupert has also acted outside of university, such as working with NYT and performing Feather Boy at the Lyric, Hammersmith. Rupert has performed in two productions and one tour with Cyphers so far: Henry V (2014-2015)and Great Expectations (2015).

 

Quick Questions…

1. What’s your favourite scene or character from ‘Great Expectations’?

When Pip confronts Estella and Havisham after meeting his mysterious benefactor. It’s a powerful, moving scene; and I feel it has a lot of Dickens in there, a lot of personal turmoil from the author that underpins the curious relationship between Pip and Estella.

 

2. What’s the last project you worked on?

The last project I worked on was the revival of Henry V with Cyphers! A big tonal change from the radio play,but a rewarding opportunity that I got a lot out of. Plus, it’s a blast working with actors and crew, both old and new!

 

3. What’s the last book you read?

The last book I read was One Hundred Apocalypses by Lucy Corin, some chilling stuff…

 

4. Not a lot of people know that I…

Used to have an irrational fear of hoovers! Well… it seemed rational at the time!

 

5. What really grinds your gears?

It takes a lot to grind my gears, to be honest. Cold callers are the closest I guess, but I don’t blame ’em – they’re just doing their job.

 

You can hear Rupert Sadler playing Pip Pirrip in our upcoming radio adaptation of Great Expectations – broadcasting on The Blackshaw Arts Hour from Sunday 3rd January 2016.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.