Courtyard productions present a powerful adaptation of Dickens’ best-loved novel, Great Expectations this autumn.

With an exciting mix of professional, community and Youth Theatre cast bringing to life the original, yet timeless characters, Great Expectations is The Courtyard’s third professional/amateur production, having staged Lord of the Flies in 2016 and Pride and Prejudice in 2017.

Taking on the lead roles of Pip and Estella are community actors Fletch Garrard and Ellie Bailey who have both risen through the ranks of The Courtyard’s Youth Theatre, while professional actors Andrea Miller and Angus Brown join the cast to take of the roles of Miss Havisham and escaped convict Magwitch respectively.

"Working with a cast like this creates a wonderful platform for creativity and learning to coexist," says director David Durant. "With the talent and training of the professionals, coupled with the enthusiasm and love of the youth theatre and community cast rehearsals become a very special place.

“Great Expectations is a play full of promise and hope. A play in which we see our most precious dreams realised; but they are never quite as they seem,” says David. “The play will look at our innermost dreams and try and create a lifelike and visual journey as we see the story unfold through the eyes of Pip.

"I have wanted to direct Great Expectations ever since I was nine years old," David continues". "My family had moved to The Medway Towns and I grew up walking past Charles Dickens's house on the way to school."

After a chilling chance encounter with an escaped convict, young orphan Pip is set on an unexpected journey of transformation and discovery, forever changing his fortunes and destiny.

In the decaying grandeur of Miss Havisham’s house, Pip falls deeply in love with Estella and vows to better himself and become a gentleman. Helped by an anonymous benefactor, he moves to the bustling city to pursue his dream of winning Estella’s heart. However, Pip’s past is not so easily abandoned and when the nature of his great expectations are discovered, he must decide on his true identity.

Funny, tender and full of intrigue, Great Expectations remains a masterpiece of self-discovery told through some of literature’s most iconic characters.

Great Expectations will be at The Courtyard from Tuesday to Saturday, October 1 to 5 at 7.30pm, with matinee performances on Thursday and Saturday. Audio Described performance at 2.30pm on Saturday 5 with a free Touch Tour preceding the performance at 1pm. To book, call the box office on 01432 340555 or visit