"THERE are no morals here" are the opening words of the play Vanity Fair, which is being staged by Newport Playgoers Society at the city's Dolman Theatre this week.

Director Clare Drewett said: "This opening line says it all. Vanity Fair is certainly not a sugary Regency romance. Its characters are without exception flawed - money is everything and the protagonists scheme and struggle to get what they want, no matter what the cost.

“The heroine Rebecca is as sharp as her name. As she claws her way to the top only to fall into disgrace, her ‘friend’, Amelia, slides into ruin only to bounce back as fortune favours her.

“Thackeray did not intend us to like any of the characters in his novel, but in a modern society where ‘girl power’ is a well-known concept it is hard not to fall for the determinedly optimistic Becky who wants to make the most of the cards life has dealt her.

“Directing this play has been a labour of love. From the start, I wanted to emphasise the links between the past and present and show how the stories of these 19th-century women are relevant and present today.

“With that in mind, I chose to set the play to modern music, the pop culture and girl bands echoing the themes of the play - lust, loss, love and filthy lucre!

“I’m delighted to see Vanity Fair coming to life on stage with such a strong and upbeat cast and crew - not least because this project has been three years in the making.

"We’ve gone through many ups and downs, twists and turns in our own long journey as the Wheel of Fortune span round, but we’ve made it here and I hope our efforts provide you with enjoyment! Come and join us at Vanity Fair!”

Vanity Fair runs at the Dolman Theatre, Newport from Tuesday, June 14, until Friday, June 17, at 7.15pm, with a matinee on Saturday, June 18, at 2pm. Tickets: www.dolmantheatre.co.uk. Tel: 01633 263670.