Following the success of For Love or Money and Cyrano, Northern Broadsides are returning to West Yorkshire Playhouse this May with Deborah McAndrew’s witty new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times.

Transporting the Playhouse back to the 1854 Northern Powerhouse, Hard Times sees the vibrant, joyful Sleary’s circus interrupt the dark landscape of the charcoal-etched towers, setting the stage for hilarity, love and seduction.

Imagine a world where imagination is forbidden. Coketown is such a place. Thomas Gradgrind will not permit fanciful thoughts in his school or his home. But what effect will this policy have on his own children, Tom and Louisa? How can he protect them from corrupting influences – especially when the circus comes to town?

Writer Deborah McAndrew said: “I’ve always admired Hard Times – Dickens’ one truly Northern novel. It’s full of all the usual brilliant Dickens characters, and lots of very good jokes. It’s also a life affirming story, and a manifesto against a dry, utilitarian approach to education and human discourse in general.”

Directed by Northern Broadsides Resident Director Conrad Nelson, Hard Times plays at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 22 – 26 May.

Hard Times, Quarry Theatre

Box office 0113 213 7700. Book online https://www.wyp.org.uk

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