Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités


Dickens’ hard-hitting novel about the brutal realities and materialistic spirit of Victorian industrial capitalism is presented in a stylized pantomime, music-hall and circus format, with the circus performers acting act out the story of Hard Times. Charles Dickens himself is prevailed upon to play the role of the grim Thomas Gradgrind. The characters include Mrs Gradgrind (who at one point jumps out of her coffin to join in a tap-dance); their daughter, Louisa, who is married off to Bounderby, the callous humbug; and the villainous rake, Harthouse, who preys on poor Louisa.


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Versions majeures de Hard Times

Version 1

Hard Times (2000-06-Haymarket Theatre-London) (Original)
Durée : 2 mois 3 semaines
Nombre : 95 représentations
Première Preview : lundi 22 mai 2000
Première : mardi 06 juin 2000
Dernière : samedi 26 août 2000
Mise en scène : Chris Tookey
Chorégraphie : Craig Revel Horwood
Avec : Brian Blessed (Dickens/Gradgrind), Roy Hudd (Samuel Sleary), Ann Emery (Mrs Sleary/Mrs Gradgrind), Helen Anker (Louisa), Malcolm Rennie (Bounderby), Peter Blake (Harthouse), Susan-Jane Tanner, Matt Rawle, Ray C. Davis
Commentaires :
The circus-format derived from the appearance in the novel of Samuel Sleary’s travelling circus, but the whole jolly format came over as a send-up of the novel, rather than a musical. The musical style ranged from Gilbert & Sullivan to romantic ballads and vaudeville numbers and the show itself was amiable, silly and old fashioned. With Brian Blessed (“never knowingly underplayed”) and Roy Hudd in an extension of his glorious music-hall acts, this was a curious mish-mash, and came off on August 26th after just three months.
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Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Hard Times


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