Classic Dickens with Belper Players

Belper Players will be bringing a unique adaptation of a Charles Dickens classic to life on stage with the première of Nickleby – A Tale For Christmas.

Based on the novel Nicholas Nickleby, the play will be performed at Strutts Centre, Belper, from December 4-8, as the 200th anniversary year of the author’s birth enters its final month.

The story follows the fortunes of one young man as he makes his way in Victorian society after the death of his father. Nicholas discovers a world which is often hostile to the poor and vulnerable, but also offers adventure and hope.

Director Larry Waller, who has written this adaptation, uses dynamic, physical theatre and sparse scenery to bring the story to life.

It’s a style he first began to develop when he directed A Christmas Carol for Belper Players two years ago.

With 30 scenes, over 50 actors, 100 costume changes and around 150 sound and lighting cues it’s no mean feat. But one which is certain to create an evening of exciting and memorable theatre for all ages.

“We’re bringing together 50 keen and committed people of all generations to perform a timeless classic depicting loss, grief, love and celebration. Charles Dickens truly understood how to capture human nature, which is why his stories are still so relevant today,” said Larry.

“We’re using old-fashioned storytelling techniques mixed with plenty of energy and movement, against the backdrop of a beautiful, historic building.”

With little scenery to restrict the movement of the cast, the atmosphere is created using lighting and sound effects, and original music composed and performed by Belper musician Jonathan Dadley Webb.

“Everyone shines in this production,” added Larry, “We have a real wealth of talent and energy here in Belper. It’s been real team effort and the end result is something that will entertain and thrill the whole family.”

There will also be a matinée performance on Saturday, December 8, to make the most of the play’s appeal to families. However parents may feel some of the scenes are unsuitable for very young children.

Tickets for Nickleby – A Tale For Christmas cost £7, with concessions available at £6 on Tuesday, December 4, only.

Under 16s can see the play for £5, and family tickets for two adults and two children aged under 16 are priced at £22. They are available from Joyce Towle on 01335 370827 or via the Belper Players website at