The Christendom College Players will present Nicholas Nickleby on April 20-22 at the Warren County Middle School auditorium in Front Royal, Virginia. Nicholas Nickleby is an adaption by Gregory Blair of the beloved novel by Charles Dickens. Featuring a complex plot filled with incredibly colorful characters, the play contains just about everything one could hope for from Dickens.
Christendom English Professor Dr. Patrick Keats will direct the play, which will be his thirty-second show at Christendom. Keats is ably assisted by a production team that includes alumna Mary Harrington, Christendom seniors Brianna Miller and Erin Clark, junior Kelly Lawyer, and sophomore Sean LaRochelle.
“NickNick, as it is sometimes called, has a rich theatrical and cinematic tradition,” Keats says. “Two fine film versions have been made based on the story, each showcasing a cast of great British and American actors. Even more significant, though, was the gargantuan, eight-hour production of the play performed in the 1980’s by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Christendom’s somewhat more modest two and a half hour production nevertheless captures the essence of the story, along with its major plots and characters.”
The play includes Dickens’ trademark hilarious comic scenes; lurid melodrama when Nicholas has to defend the persecuted schoolchildren against their sadistic tormentors; two highly romantic subplots, as both Nicholas and his sister, Kate, find their true loves in London; and a rousing conclusion as Nicholas, with the help of two kind-hearted brothers, attempts to save the life of a poor crippled boy named Smike.
Freshman talent is being showcased in the lead roles with Peter Foeckler as Nicholas, Alex Clark as Uncle Ralph, Stephen Hyland as Smike, and Melody Wood as Kate. Other actors in the large cast include junior Matthew Camp, sophomore Andrew Clark, freshman Katie Brizek, sophomore Matthew Harris, senior Kathleen Deighan, and junior Sarah Halbur.
Showtimes will be Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 21, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 22, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students, and $3 for children 12 and under.
For more information, or to reserve tickets at the door, call Christendom College at 540.636.2900 ext. 1390 or 1327. The Middle School auditorium is located at 240 Luray Avenue, Front Royal, VA 22630.