Beyond Expectations, a theatre show from Untold Theatre revisits Charles Dicken's classic great Expectations and re-tells the story from the perspective of Estella.
The story starts with Estella as a youngster, living with her mother, a passionate gypsy and her father, Magwitch, a drunk who beats her mother. She is then taken into the care of Miss Havisham, during which time she meets Pip. Although Pip loves her, she coldly rejects him, flirts with many other men and ends up in an unhappy marriage. Miss Havisham taught her well how to destroy men's hearts, demonstrating by ripping off the wings of a moth. At the same time though, she never taught Estelle the art of self preservation.
It's really interesting to see this well known tale told from a different perspective, though I felt it didn't really give a huge amount of insight into Estella as a character, over and above what we already know from the novel.
That aside, this is a wonderful production. The use of music and film add a great deal of atmosphere, whether it's restless ocean or scudding clouds or the forbidding gates of Miss Havishan's Satis House. The acting is consistently excellent and there is a good balance between humour and pathos. There's great attention to detail too, for example, I loved the puppets that were used to represent Estella and Pip in their very young years.
So all in all, a definite recommendation if you don't know what to see in the mass of theatrical possibilities that is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Information on the show:
Disclaimer: I received a free review ticket for this show.