Fun at Charwelton with strings attached

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A SHOW featuring rousing songs, eccentric masks and rumbustuous puppets comes to a village hall on Saturday.

A Rake’s Progress will be performed at Charwelton Village Hall from 7pm.

The show is described as ‘bedlam’ and is inspired by William Hogarth’s satirical etchings which has been adapted for the stage by the Strangeface Theatre company which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

It tells the wild and astonishing tale of Tom Rakewell. Possessed of his dead father’s fortune Tom forsakes the country life and embarks on a riotous journey deep into the heart and seething underbelly of eighteenth century London.

Urged on by a Mephistophelian manservant and pursued by his spurned lover, Sarah Young, he seems set on a road to ruin.

This very theatrical tale of youthful abandon and strange redemption is both comic and moving for the audience.

The general manager of Strangeface Bethan Tomlinson said: “It was a series of paintings which were devised as a cheaper form of entertainment when they were originally done. We had to expand this out and we found the best way to do that is with the music, which helps to tell the story.

“It has been a very interesting journey adapting this for the stage and something which will provide a lot of fun.

“The show is suitable for children at secondary school upwards because there are a lot of sad moments, but we want to make sure it is happy and the audience goes away feeling positive.”

Strangeface will also be giving its audience members a chance to try on a mask or play with the puppets in a backstage tour.

It is a return to the same venue for the company which has previously performed at Charwelton when it brought a puppet adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol.

The show has been brought to the village by Northants Touring Arts which aims to bring top quality performers to rural locations across the county.

Tickets for the show cost £8 for adults and £6 for concessions and can be booked by calling Polly Barnard on 01327 261251.