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A new adaptation of Hard Times at West Yorkshire Playhouse

Northern Broadsides return with a reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic northern novel.

Northern Broadsides Feb 2018 Hard Times by Charles Dickens Adapted by Deborah McAndrew Directed by Conrad Nelson Designed by Dawn Allsopp Lighting by Mark Howland Musical Director Rebekah Hughes Suzanne Ahmet/Sissy Jupe Paul Barnhill/Mr Seary Victoria Brazier/Rachael Howard Chadwick/Bounderby Anthony Hunt/Steven Blackpool Darren Kuppan/Mr Harthouse Perry Moore/Tom Gradgrind Andrew Price/Thomas Gradgrind Vanessa Schofield/Louis Gradgrind Claire Storey/Mrs Peglar ©NOBBY CLARK +44(0)7941-515770 +44(0)20-7274-2105

Northern Broadsides return to West Yorkshire Playhouse this May with Deborah McAndrew’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times.

Transporting the Playhouse back to the 1854 Northern Powerhouse, Hard Times sees the vibrant, joyful Sleary’s circus interrupt the dark landscape of the charcoal-etched towers, setting the stage for hilarity, love and seduction.

Vanessa Schofield as Louisa Gradgrind in Hard Times. Photographer - Nobby Clark.

Vanessa Schofield as Louisa Gradgrind in Hard Times. Photographer: Nobby Clark.

Imagine a world where imagination is forbidden. Coketown is such a place. Thomas Gradgrind will not permit fanciful thoughts in his school or his home. But what effect will this policy have on his own children, Tom and Louisa? How can he protect them from corrupting influences – especially when the circus comes to town?

Writer Deborah McAndrew said: “I’ve always admired Hard Times – Dickens’ one truly Northern novel. It’s full of all the usual brilliant Dickens characters, and lots of very good jokes. It’s also a life-affirming story, and a manifesto against a dry, utilitarian approach to education and human discourse in general.”

The production is directed by Northern Broadsides Resident Director Conrad Nelson.

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Hard Times is at West Yorkshire Playhouse from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th May 2018. Book online at or call the Box office 0113 213 7700.


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