For Charles J.H. Dickens (1812-70), the phrase ‘a legend in his lifetime’ is no exaggeration. In the early Victorian world of horse-drawn coaches and penny pamphlets, Dickens’ writings – and above all his serialised novels – made him hugely famous.
Yet during the latter part of his career, his dramatic public readings of his own works generated perhaps more excitement than even the books themselves.
The ‘inimitable’ author had nearly become a professional actor before dedicating himself to writing, and he packed halls the length and breadth of the country – as well as touring the USA, Canada and Ireland. He was, arguably, literature’s first international superstar.
A Date with Dickens attempts to re-create just a little of that magic.Spend an hour or more in the company of ‘The Chief’ himself, and some of his memorable characters – brought to life by Frank Kennedy – experienced teacher, campaigner, director and actor, especially with Liverpool Network Theatre Group.As Frank says, “The works of Charles Dickens did not stem from a silent mind; they poured forth from a passionate voice which laughed and cried, shouted and sighed…they were written to be read aloud and they still clamour to be heard today.”Performances can be varied to suit the needs of different audiences.
Typically they last 45-75 minutes (without an interval) or 90-105 minutes (including interval) and contain extracts from 8-12 of Dickens’ works – some very familiar, others less so. They are suitable for adults and children **over 8 years old – younger with parental approval**
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