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Theatre - Tom Jones

Brighton Little Theatre are putting on a performance of Tom Jones in the Lewes Castle Gun Garden this weekend. Nothing to do, thankfully, with the less discerning housewife’s favourite Welsh singer, but an adaptation of Henry Fielding’s 18th century novel about a loveable over-sexed rogue. The novel was adapted for the stage by its director Richard Lindfield. “We normally do Shakespeare,” he tells me, on the phone, two days before opening night, “but we wanted a change. I was reading the novel, and I thought it would be perfect. Jones is quite a character. He’s desperately in love with a woman he can’t get, so he ends up shagging everyone he meets, without meaning to. Women just throw themselves at him, and he can’t say no. He is a man who is described by the narrator of the novel as being ‘born to be hanged,’ but he always manages to escape the noose.” Jones is played by Matthew Hopwood, who played one of the Two Gentlemen of Verona last year, and was once Jesus Christ at the Theatre Royal.

This is the twelfth consecutive year the amateur dramatic group have performed in the same venue. “Nowadays it’s all miked up, so the wind doesn’t blow away the voice,” says Lindfield. The group tend to be imaginative with the wonderful setting – one year Romeo climbed up a rope ladder to the bridge leading to the keep. “Bring a picnic, and enjoy the show. We’ll give you a rapid-fire two hours of entertainment, and then you’re out.” Picaresque stuff. AG

Fielding’s Jones: not Bridget by Helen, but Tom by Henry

Lewes Gun Garden
When? 7.45pm runs till Sat 19th
How Much? £10/£8 concs

Brighton Little Theatre
(w) Website