Went to Dicken’s Women at the State Opera House on Saturday night. It wasn’t one of the performances I get review tickets for, but figured it was worth reviewing anyway. Went with Stats Girl who wanted to see it, and Mr Stats Girl conveniently fled town for the weekend.
It is a one woman show by Miriam Margoyles. She plays 23 different female Dickens’ characters. Her voice range is extraordinary, and she has a great sense of fun as you can in this appearance on the Graham Norton show.
You don’t need to know al the works of Dickens to enjoy the show. In fact it is not so much a show about Dicken’s plays, but about Dicken’s himself. Margoyles explains how many of the characters were based on actual women that Dickens knew. He seemed to have quite an admiration for 17 year old girls, as you go on to learn.
Dickens was and is the greatest novelist of his period. But he was also something of a prick, and his relations with his wife’s family is somewhat unconventional. His wife was Catherine. Her younger sister Mary lived with them and died at the age if 17. Dickens adored her and he actually asked to be buried next to Mary when she died.
Some two decades later Dickens had an affair with a 17 year old and hence Catherine was banished from Dicken’s life. But her sister Gorgina stayed on as nanny to Dickens’ children and cared for Dickens until he died. She was the major beneficiary of his will.
If you are interested in Charles Dickens, the performance is a highly entertaining way to learn more about him, warts and all.
After the show Margoyles autographs programmes and books which are for sale. Just ahead of Stats Girl in the queue was no less than Billy Connolly!
Not a performance for everyone, and the majority of the audience were women. But I found it a very entertaining evening, and it has actually motivated me to purchase a biography of Dickens, to learn even more about the greatest novelist of the Victorian era.Tags: Charles Dickens, Miriam Margoyles, Reviews