‘Great Expectations’ to Open on West End, Tour UK

A new stage adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic “Great Expectations” is set to begin a national tour of the U.K. before settling into London’s West End later this year. The new production is part of celebrations commemorating the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth.

The tour is expected to open at the Richmond Theatre on September 12 and will run through September 15. The tour will then move to Woking, Malvern, Brighton, Birmingham, Darlington, Aylesbury and Aberdeen. The last stop of the tour, in Aberdeen, will be held November 6 – 10.

The new adaptation of the novel, which was originally published in serialized form from 1860-61, was written by Jo Clifford, known as one of Scotland’s reading playwrights who has written around 80 plays over the past 30 years. The production will be directed and co-designed by Graham McLaren, founder of the acclaimed Theatre Babel company.

Proceeds from the show will be donated to the newly launched Dickens Trust, which was established by Dickens’ great, great, great, grand-daughter Lucinda Dickens Hawkley. The trust will distribute money to groups concerned with issues Dickens was passionate about, including literacy, prison reform and adoption, among others.

The new production will star Jack Ellis as Jaggers. Ellis has a long history on stage, including appearing alongside Rob Lowe in the West End version of “A Few Good Men.” He also undertook an international tour of “Richard III” along with Kevin Spacey. That production was directed by the legendary Sam Mendes. Other featured performers in the production include Chris Ellison, Paul Nivison and Paula Wilcox, with other casting to be announced soon.

The production will be presented by Beer & Partners Limited and is sponsored by House of Worth and Rocco Venezia. The new adaptation also is set to be published by Nick Hern Books.