It may have escaped your notice (but probably only if you live in a cave) but 2012 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, perhaps the greatest creator of fictional characters in English literature (sorry Shakespeare). The BBC is gearing up to celebrate the Dickens bicentennial in style, with new dramas breaking out all over the place at present.
We, however, had the chance earlier tonight to enjoy a more intimate and special Dickens experience in this most Dickens-laden of years. We were privileged to see a great great grandson of Charles Dickens, the fine actor Gerald Dickens, re-create An Audience with Charles Dickens at the McRobert Theatre at Stirling University:
The New York Times described the show as: "A once in-a-lifetime brush with literary history" and so it was, at times breathtaking, moving, funny and highly entertaining. No spoilers from me but, as the information is widely available on line, I'll add that we were treated to a one-hour long version of Nicholas Nickleby which, if you know your Dickens, you'll know has a cast of 40+ characters, most of whom featured! My enjoyment was even enhanced by knowing that some strand of the great Charles Dickens' DNA was down there on the stage (there is even a family resemblance to my eye and not just down to the beards!)
I can't recommend this highly enough. It was fantastic. Enough said, go and see it if you can. Here's a list of upcoming shows.