THE curtains are almost up for the cast of Blewbury Players as they hold their final rehearsals before their performance of a Charles Dickens' classic.

Audiences will have 'Great Expectations' of the group's show as it comes to the Orchard Dene open air garden theatre from Wednesday, July 19 until Saturday, July 22.

More than 100 people who hail from the village will be involved with the production.

Blewbury artist Jo Clegg is designing the set and the novel has been adapted for the players by fellow villager, author Julia Golding.

She said: "I think of the Players as a large Blewbury family so the cast includes all ages, giving scope for having as many in the cast as the director could manage."

Polish-born director Sebastian Palka was invited to direct the show.

He said: "I remember the first time I saw the Blewbury Players’ magical theatre.

"I am very excited as this is the first time I am directing an open air production.

"Being here is as exciting as it is rewarding.

"For a Polish-born director, working in a British village on a classic British play with an English cast and crew is an absolute dream.

"I am surrounded by a wonderful, committed and dedicated crew and eager and passionate performers."

Audiences are welcome to bring a picnic to the garden before the play, from 7pm.

For the matinee performances the garden will open at 2.15pm and complimentary tea and cake will be available during the interval.

Tickets are £12.50 for adults and for children £6 and are available either from the Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot or Savages in Blewbury.

For more information visit