Dickens wrote the two stories at the height of his serial popularity and presented them himself at some of his public readings, but they’ve rarely been seen or heard since - Dr Marigold has not been performed for 150 years. At Riverside, they’re billed as having all the elements necessary for a perfect one-man show from Callow: “dwarves, giants, toffs ... even a walk-on appearance by the Prince of Wales”.
Callow played the author himself in The Mystery of Charles Dickens, the one-man show written by Dickens biographer Peter Ackroyd, which had West End season in 2000 and 2002 in addition to extensive UK touring. That earlier piece used extracts from Dickens’ stories alongside anecdotes from his life, with Callow portraying famous Dickensian characters including Bill Sykes, Mrs Gamp and Mr Micawber. Dickens himself was known for his interest in the theatre, and depicted a number of his own literary creations on stage.
Simon Callow has been seen on stage most recently opposite Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot at the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket. His many other credits include Amadeus, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Holy Terror, Through the Leaves and The Woman in White on stage, and the films Shakespeare in Love, A Room with a View, Howard’s End and Four Weddings and a Funeral.