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BBC Audio. Co-written and performed by Miriam Margolyes

5*

Miriam Margolyes is at her best in this one-woman show, in which she brings some of Dickens’ most memorable female characters to life.

Recorded live, this is a tour de force of comedy and drama by a wonderful actress who knows Dickens well, and loves him too – a love that comes across strongly in this affectionate, but gently satirical, warts and all look, at the life of Dickens through the voices of the women he wrote. Miriam Margolyes finds Dickens’ mother, his early loves, his abandoned wife, and even Charles himself in the voices of the women he created; a vivid and energetic performance, full of wit and pathos, peppered with quieter moments on the events of Dickens’ life that inspired his plots and characters.

Dickens’ knew a thing or two about performing his own works, and though I’m sure he would have enjoyed much of Miriam Margolyes performance, he would certainly have blanched at some of her perceptively sharp comedy on his often fraught relationships with all the women in his life.

Brilliantly entertaining and highly recommended – it certainly made the onerous job of cleaning my Dad’s kitchen fly faster and sweeter than is the norm.

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