The play is as much about Dickens himself as it is about the twenty-three characters performed by Margolyes. These characters are drawn from his novels and sketches and include both the iconic and famous, like Mrs. Gamp and Miss Havisham, and other, lesser-known characters, but they all offer a unique glimpse into the life of the author.
Dickens’ popularity has continued long after his death and this year, the 200th anniversary of his birth, 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 offers a different and perhaps more critical perspective on the man himself. “He’s a surprising man,” Margolyes says. “Much crueler than people expect, so I hope the show will shock the audience and remove them from the comfort zone people usually expect from Dickens.”
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 throughout India and South Africa. In 1992 it was nominated for the Olivier Award. Show produced by Richard Jordan Productions in association with Andrew McKinnon and Pleasance.
Miriam Margolyes has achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic. Winner of the BAFTA Best Supporting Actress Award in 1993 for The Age of Innocence, she also received Best Supporting Actress at the 1989 LA Critics Circle Awards for her role in Little Dorrit and a Sony Radio Award for Best Actress on Radio in 1993. Her first professional work was for the BBC Drama Repertory Company and her voice work has continued to form an important part of her career. She is considered the most famous female voice in England and her award-winning audio book recordings are international best-sellers. She is particularly proud of The Queen and I, in which she played every member of the Royal Family and the E.F. Benson series of Mapp & Lucia. She has voiced many animation films and was Fly in Babe, the Matchmaker in Mulan and voiced Happy Feet and Flushed Away.
Some of Miriam’s most memorable film credits in more than 40 films include Yentl; Little Shop of Horrors; I Love You to Death; Cold Comfort Farm; Romeo + Juliet (with Leonardo DiCaprio); End of Days (with Arnold Schwarzenegger);
Miriam’s stage career includes such credits as the Los Angeles production of Romeo & Juliet; She Stoops to Conquer, and Orpheus Descending (all for Sir Peter Hall); The Killing of Sister George; The Threepenny Opera (Tony Richardson); and Yenta the Matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof. She originated the role of Madame Morrible in Wicked in London and subsequently reprised it for the musical’s Broadway debut. Last year, Miriam played Nell in Endgame, the Duchess in Me and My Girl and Grace in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.
Notable television credits include Freud; The Life and Loves of a She-Devil; Blackadder I, II and III; Girls of Slender Means; Oliver Twist; The History Man; Vanity Fair; and Supply and Demand. Comedy has always been an important part of Miriam’s repertoire. She played Franny in the CBS sitcom, Frannie’s Turn, and starred in the Miss Marple episode, Murder at the Vicarage. Recently, she has appeared in Doc Martin and Merlin. In 2011, Miriam created the role of Aunt Prudence in the new Australian drama series, The Mysteries of Phryne Fisher. She has played Queen Victoria twice and toured America in the footsteps of Charles Dickens in a memorable TV documentary, Dickens in America.
In 2002, Miriam was awarded an Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to Drama.
Performances of Dickens’ Women are 8 p.m. December 4, 5, 6, and 8, and a 3 p.m. matinée December 9, with a post-performance Talkback with Margolyes. Opening Night Reception, 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 4. Tickets are $42, Child 17 and Under $20. Herb Strauss Theater’s season continues with Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings (December 17 – 31), Monty Python’s Spamalot (January 11 – February 16), The Marvelous Wonderettes (February 22 – March 23), Charles Lindbergh: The Lone Eagle (February 24 – March 10), and Fully Committed (March 29 – April 27).
Dickens’ Women is supported by Herb Strauss Theater Season Sponsor The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company http://www.sancaptrustco.com/
BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater is located at 2200 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel. Groups of 10 or more are now eligible to take advantage of Herb Strauss Theater’s group discount rates for all shows, prices range from $25 to $36 per ticket. Groups of 50 or more receive a greater discounted ticket price.
Call Jason Boeckman at (239) 472-9700, Ext. 308 for Group Discount Rates for each show. Additional matinée performances may also be added at the special request of groups with large numbers.
Details about our upcoming season as well as general information about our venues, can be found online through our website, http://www.BIGARTS.org.
To learn more about these productions and BIG ARTS events, membership and workshops, stop by BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel; call (239) 395-0900; e-mail info@BIGARTS.org;
“A virtuoso display… Margolyes’ genius is to entertain, fascinate and challenge”
“Her passion is as much a subject of the evening as the author himself. Anyone who loves to read will recognise her devotion, her attention, and will be enchanted by her gift at transforming the pleasures of the text into the pleasures of the stage.”
LOS ANGELES TIMES
More info at http://www.dickenswomen.com/