Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Old Curiosity Shop, Chapter Fifty One

Near the End of this Summer at the Bread and Puppet Circus, capping off Geezer Week, I put together a little Play, employing several Friends as Actors and presenting it, alfresco and extempore, as a Sideshow, using the dialogue from the fifty first Chapter of the Novel, which Charles Dickens began writing as a short Story in 1840 for his Periodical, Master Humphrey's Clock.   Upon publication, this Book quickly developed into his most popular, at least during his (too short) Life.  At present I'm working on a long Video Adaptation of the entire Book, of which I had hopes of presenting the first Chapter eight weeks ago, but found that there were Elements that I need to construct and record before the final editing may occur.  For now there is a six minute Video available for viewing on YouTube of this little Play cobbled together from videos of the three Performances done on the edge of the Pine Forrest on August 25, 2013 between 2 and 2:45pm.  The Dance Interlude between Scenes was choreographed by Tamar Schumann and Susie Dennison.  The Actors were Michael Dennison as Daniel Quilp, Violet Robinson as the Marchioness, Dale Wittig as Sampson Brass, Sam Wilson as Sally Brass, and Noah Lank as Tom Scott.  The video recording was done by Karen Lank and Michelle Robinson.


The Play concerns Daniel Quilp's discovering that he has a Daughter by Sally Brass and that the Girl has been raised in ignorance of her Origins as her mother's Servant (which rather amuses him,) and his laying plans for the Destruction of his young Nemesis, Christopher Nubbles, with the assistance of the aforementioned Sally and her Brother (and his Lawyer,) Sampson Brass.  The Boy in these Photographs (seen tossing Pine Needles in lieu of Hailstones on the assembled Tea Party in the Wilderness) is meant to represent Tom Scott, the foundling raised by Quilp as his Servant (who, following the Villain's Death at Novel's End is the only one to grieve for him other than this Money Lender's much abused young Wife.)  It has been noted by more than one literary Critic that the Character of Daniel Quilp should be taken as an Instance of self-caricature on the part of the original Author, Mr Charles John Huffam Dickens.

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