Charlie Peace: His Amazing Life & Astounding Legend - Review by Evie Wakefield


On the 7th October 2013, I attended a theatrical performance of the play ‘Charlie Peace: His Amazing Life & Astounding Legend’ at Nottingham Playhouse, directed by Giles Croft.

The performance began as if it were set at Goose Fair, with a stage on the main stage. The showman (Norman Pace) set the scene and introduced the character of Charlie Peace (Peter Duncan), a Victorian villain/thief originally from Sheffield who frequently changed his name and appearance to disguise himself from the police. The tone of the play was humorous.
I felt the main characters engaged with the audience a lot – breaking the fourth wall.

The artforms involved were, drama, comedy, music (traditional folk songs, played by five musicians who also acted in the play) and graphic designs which were projected on to the set to change locations.

I decided to go to this event because I am very interested in historical style plays and musicals. This play was advertised as a musical melodrama set in the 1800s and part of it was based in Nottingham, which I felt made it even more worthwhile to see.

My favourite aspect of this play was the beautiful costume design featuring tops hats, corsets and circus-style outfits. I also really liked the set design which was quite steam-punk esque.

Unfortunately, I felt the actors sometimes forgot to project their voices especially when singing.

I would recommend this play for people who like melodramatic performances about murder and violence set in Victorian times. However, I would not recommend this for children or people of a nervous disposition because there are a couple of scenes that might be unsuitable for them.


-Evie Wakefield