As part of a worldwide celebration of the bicentennial of Charles Dickens’ birth, Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents British film and stage actress Miriam Margolyes as she concludes her 10 month worldwide tour of her one woman act, Dickens’ Women.
The play is staged in the intimate upstairs theater which gives audience members a personal and memorable connection with Margolyes. Using a minimal setting of three chairs, a piano, and a replica of Charles Dickens’ writing table, Margolyes presents a riveting look into Dickens’ life and reveals how his personal history is woven into his characters.
Margolyes has a wonderfully malleable face which she uses to its fullest effect while conveying the wide range of emotions revealed in a multitude of Dickens’ characters. Margolyes easily connects with audience members when speaking directly to them, then seamlessly slips into character – and so many characters! At times, the play is intensely dramatic; at other times, it is humorous, and, if you look closely, you’ll see a fleeting twinkle in Margolyes’ eyes that lets you know she’s in on the joke with the audience. Margolyes’ considerable skill is on full display in this play that allows her to show her expansive range of acting ability.
Because the play presents an extensive biography of Dickens and connects his life experiences and personality with the characters he weaves into his stories, audience members can thoroughly enjoy the play regardless of their level of knowledge of Dickens or his writings.
Dickens’ Women, directed by Sonia Fraser, with original music and arrangements by Michael Haslam, is at Chicago Shakespeare Theater for five nights only, through Saturday, December 22, 2012. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 312-595-5600. Parking at Navy Pier is only $10 after 5 p.m. through March 17.
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