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Dickens returns to Preston for one night only

Posted on - 17th March, 2018 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, History, Preston News, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston
Engraving c.1862 from The Illustrated London News detailing the construction of Moor Park - Preston was said to be the inspiration for Dickens 'Hard Times' Pic: Preston Digital Archive
Engraving c.1862 from The Illustrated London News detailing the construction of Moor Park – Preston was said to be the inspiration for Dickens ‘Hard Times’ Pic: Preston Digital Archive

Charles Dickens’ great-great-grandson will appear on a Preston stage almost 151 years after the literary great performed here.

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Gerald Dickens will read and perform some of his ancestor’s classic works during the one-man show, Dickens Returns to Preston.

The charity event will feature two elements, Mr Dickens is Coming and Doctor Marigold.

Mr Dickens is Coming takes a light-hearted look at the author’s life and character, using scenes from his works, diary extracts, and observations from those who knew him. Doctor Marigold is little known today, but the heartbreaking story was one of his most popular readings.

Described as a talented storyteller, Gerald has toured the world performing his great-great-grandfather’s works. Charles used to tour his readings too. In April 1867 he played to a packed Theatre Royal in Preston. He later revealed this visit, and his time at Hoghton Tower in particular, helped inspire his short tale, George Silverman’s Explanation.

Read more: 15 literary figures you never knew were associated with Preston

Charles had also visited a few years earlier, in 1854, while working as a journalist.  That experience of Preston and its workers influenced one of his all-time classics, Hard Times. The setting for the book, Coketown, shares many similarities to the Preston of that era.

Dickens Returns To Preston takes place at Preston Playhouse on Sunday March 25 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15 each with all proceeds going to PIES (Partners in Education Swaziland). To book, ring 07801 446 099 or email k.rain@tiscali.co.uk.

Read more: Preston and its workers, companies and trades explored in a new book

Are you a fan of Dickens (Gerald or Charles)? Will you be going to the show? Let us know in the comments below.

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