Miriam Margolyes in Dickens' Women
Photo by Prudence Upton
CST joins the international celebration of the bicentennial of Charles Dickens’ birth, Dickens 2012, with a World’s Stage presentation of the Olivier Award-nominated Dickens’ Women, featuring acclaimed British actress Miriam Margolyes, December 18–22, 2012, in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare.
Best known for her roles as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter film series, The Nurse in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet and Mrs. Mingott in The Age of Innocence, Margolyes brings to life twenty-three of Dickens’ most colorful and entertaining characters. Some are famous and iconic, others are lesser-known creations from his books, but all offer a unique glimpse into the real-life Charles Dickens.
From Little Nell to Miss Havisham, Dickens presents an unrivalled series of portraits of women, young and old. Dickens’ personality transcends his books and the characters explored in Dickens’ Women were based on real people in his life; people he fought with and cared for, loved and hated. His women make us laugh and cry, mirroring his own rags to riches story.
Drawn from Charles Dickens’ novels and sketches—Dickens’ Women was developed by Miriam Margolyes and Sonia Fraser for the 1989 Edinburgh Festival. It has since traveled worldwide, including London, Jerusalem, Santa Cruz, New York, Boston, Sydney, Auckland and all over India. The play is as much about the man himself, as it is about the twenty-three characters performed by Margolyes.
Dickens’ popularity has waned little since his death and he remains one of the best known and most read English authors. At least 180 motion pictures and TV adaptations based on Dickens’ works have been produced. However, Margolyes hopes to offer a different and perhaps more critical perspective on the man himself. “He’s a surprising man” she says. “Much crueler than people expect, so I hope the show will shock the audience and remove them from the comfort zone people likely expect from Dickens.”
Dickens’ Women plays Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare December 18–22, 2012
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