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Hard Times

Based on the novel by Charles Dickens and adapted for the stage by Judith Jackson 

Directed by Judith Jackson with original music composed by Marcus Scroop

​Set in the 1800s in the fictional northern industrial Coketown, Dickens's story follows the lives of the downtrodden millworkers and the hard-hearted mill owners and politicians who control their lives. An education system that edits out creativity and imagination, an arranged marriage, a man struggling with conscience about joining a union and a political party member who behaves with ruthlessness all come under the examination of Dickens's satirical observations. The range of varied characters and interwoven stories made this a challenging piece for the group and the addition of original music, composed especially for the play, helped add fluency and emotion to the performances. The 'kindness, patience and cheery ways' of our performers, creatives, crew and audiences were certainly a highlight of the run.

Mornington Hall, 13th-18th February 2023

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NODA review highlights

This classic Dicken’s story is a huge undertaking and the large cast, large stage, big characters and complex scenes brings many big challenges. It was an epic in its own right and one that I got immense enjoyment from and was full of admiration. It must be a mammoth task to adapt a complete Dickens novel and retain the key elements of the plot, variety of the scenes and locations ……but this was tailored for CADOS cast and players. The satire and sarcasm of Hard Times was very evident in the script and its relevance to a 2023 audience was awkwardly prophetic. The large cast and crew provided the company with plenty to do and enabled so many people to be involved and included which I appreciate is an important value of CADOS and leads to having many active members. This was a tremendous company show that gave chances for lots of people to shine. There were many admirable highlights in the way this play was presented. The look and mood of Coketown took over Mornington Hall and your appreciative audience were treated to a great story. Another CADOS success.

Paul Daynes, NODA Regional Representative

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