CHILLING, powerful and somewhat creepy, this Charles Dicken's classic will raise the hairs on your body and get you sitting at edge of your seat.

Great Expectations has been retold again and again but despite this, South Hill Park's latest production has audiences captivated on its dark spin on the story.

The creative adaptation by Neil Bartlett and director Joe Malyan, tells the story of Pip's (played by Kier Buist), childhood dreams as he starts out as a humble young orphan boy blacksmith's apprentice.

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As he embarks on his journey into the foggy marshes, he finds himself in the ghostly 'playhouse' of Ms Havisham, before a secret benefactor gives him a leg up the pecking order to become a gentlemen.

Lighting, sound effects and props are used to encompass the story.

As the dark draping curtain is drawn, we see the hopeful Pip transitioning into the realms of adulthood. The stage is immediately brighter and clearer, reflecting on Pip's epic journey in discovering love, sadness, guilt and regret.

What makes this production even better is that it takes you on a cinematic experience. The music adds cool tones and dramatic energy throughout, with doors slamming to silent whispers.

Props are pivotal when it comes to transitioning into different scenes, from the deep depths of London town to the countryside and sea.

The characters utilise individual props, whether its posing as a French oil painting with a gold frame or standing with an umbrella to act as the front door to Ms Havisham's or as a horse and carriage cart.

Caroline Loveys played the resentful role of Miss Havisham. Credit to her as she really brought a sad old hag's character to life.

Of course, her standout performance as she falls to her knees in the pits of darkness was quite a spectacular watch towards the end.

Comedy was cleverly used to break up the eery feeling of the play. Sam Gillett expertly switched his roles into different characters and made the audience laugh throughout.

Pip's sister Mrs Joe (played by Heather Wilson) stood out on the stage with her comical persona and vocals. There were beaming smiles in the audience when she was frantically typing away on an office chair.

Great Expectations is an immersive, showstopping and memorable experience that will take you on a dark and humorous journey. It's definitely one to watch.

The show is on at the Wilde Theatre until Sunday, October 27.

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