The Mystery of Charles Dickens - See this play immediately if you are in the UK!

Simon Callow's Mystery of Charles Dickens is breathtakingly brilliant. He weaves exerpts from the novels into the complex rollercoaster of Dickens' life (comfort...poverty...marriage...death of his crashes..) He transforms himself into Miss Haversham, Pickwick, Oliver Twist, Scrooge and carries the audience with him. The enactment of Bill Sikes' murder of Nancy is electrifying and utterly terrifying. The image of his dog being dragged out of the room will stay with me forever... "All this time he had, never once, turned his back upon the corpse; no, not for a moment. Such preparations completed, he moved, backward, towards the door: dragging the dog with him, lest he should soil his feet anew and carry out new evidence of the crime into the streets. He shut the door softly, locked it, took the key, and left the house" (The Old Curiosity Shop, Charles Dickens, Chapter 70)

Dickens is an author I loathed as a child (not unconnected to being forced to read The Old Curiosity Shop which left me desolate) but appreciate as an adult. Simon Callow gently mocks the more purple passages but exposes the raw, geniune emotion of the shining characters.

For anyone who wonders how to bring a lecture to life, watching this play is a master class. Rhythm, pause, pitch, all skillfully employed. The Mystery of Charles Dickens should be compulsory viewing for lecturers, readers and speechmakers. Two hours of sheer joy and a new perspective. Wonderful!

The Mystery of Charles Dickens Tickets - Playhouse Theatre |


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