In a production full of wit, tension, suspense and conflict, sometimes all at once, the story is told in a multitude of ways varying from the use of freeze-frames to repetition of lines for effect. And for the most part, this fluctuation in theatrical presentation was a breath of fresh air, giving the performance a riveting pace broken up my moments of humour. These, provided largely by the dynamic duo Miltos Yerolemou and Martin Massindale, who reappear in several different roles throughout the show.
Moving onto the performers themselves, every actor proved their salt in this performance, offering a diverse range of characters faithful to the ones defined within the novel itself; from the comical Mrs Pocket to the endearing Herbert. However Tom Canton (who played Pip) and Miltos Yerolemou particularly stood out when it came to their use of voice in portraying different characters or different ages, enabling the audience to envisage them as alternate individuals more clearly.
Moving swiftly from moments of excruciating tension to flashes of greatly welcomed comical relief, Great Expectations will leave you breathless, caught up amidst a sea of emotion as we follow the ascent of some characters as their fortune grows betwixt the slow and painful descent of those around them. In a show that is powerful, humorous, brutal and yet forgiving, Great Expectations is certainly worth watching.
Great Expectations, newly arrived at the Bristol Old Vic, is playing until the 29th October 2013. For more Information, see Bristol Old Vic's website here: http://www.bristololdvic.org.uk/greatexpectations.html