Find out who Fagin really was in new play in Thame

Fagin? at The Players Theatre
Fagin? at The Players Theatre

A powerful new play will give the Dickensian character Fagin a fresh twist when it is performed in Thame.

After their highly acclaimed productions of Old Herbaceous and My Dog’s Got No Nose, London-based theatre company Kick In The Head return to the Players’ Theatre, with a new play called Fagin?, based on the character in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.

Written by acclaimed director and playwright Simon Downing, it centres on Fagin’s last night in prison and his descent into madness before being hanged.

It also provides an opportunity to find out who Fagin really was.

Downing starts from the premise that Dickens didn’t provide a back story for Fagin, but his character is widely believed to have been based on Ikey Solomon, a notorious criminal in the early nineteenth century. Dickens was a court reporter before turning to fiction, and it’s more than possible that he covered Solomon’s sensational Old Bailey trial in 1830.

Much of Solomon’s well-documented life story has therefore been appropriated for the play.

Downing says: “If you think you know Fagin, think again.”

‘All three actors in the roles of Fagin (Keith Hill), Bill (Giles Shenton) and Nancy (Georgia Butt) deliver impeccable performances. In the centre of it all, the audience is captivated by Fagin’s diverse, manipulative and complex character.’ (The Reviews Hub)

Fagin? is being performed at The Players Theatre, Nelson Street, Thame on Saturday, January 26 at 7.45pm. Tickets are £12 each and available from Spear Travels, Greyhound Walk, Thame, telephone 01844 217228 or online from