Celebrated children’s writer Hans Christian Andersen arrives at Dickens’ home for an extended stay. To the lonely and eccentric guest, the members of Dickens’ household seem to live a life of unreachable bliss, but Andersen’s broken English prevents him recognising the storms brewing within the family.
Presented by leading new writing company Out of Joint, and the Hampstead Theatre, Andersen’s English is a haunting new play, rich in characters and touched with a wistful humour. Dickens’ private and family life have been the subject of much speculation, in particular his strange and gradual alienation of his wife, Catherine.
Charles Dickens was a much-loved public figure, but he was also an intensely private man. Andersen’s English explores his home-life, the people close to him, and what happens when a stranger enters behind closed doors.
Sebastian Barry’s novel The Secret Scripture won the 2008 Costa prize, and he has been twice short-listed for the Booker prize. His plays include the international hit The Steward of Christendom, Our Lady of Sligo and Hinterland.
Max Stafford-Clark directs a cast including David Rintoul (Doctor Findlay, Pride and Prejudice) as Charles Dickens, Niamh Cusack (Heartbeat, Always and Everyone) as Catherine Dickens, and Danny Sapani (Out of Joint’s world-touring Macbeth and their The Overwhelming) as Hans Christian Andersen. Lisa Kerr, Alastair Mavor, Kathryn O’Reilly, and Lorna Stewart make up the rest of the cast.
Andersen's English is at the Library Theatre, Manchester from 2 - 6 March. For further tour details, visit the Out Of Joint website.