Sikes and Nancy
This is Victorian theatre at its most dramatic. Most of Charles’
readings were safe, well-known and often comic passages
from his novels, but in 1869 he introduced Sikes and Nancy to
his repertoire. When Dickens performed what he called ‘The
Murder’ he judged the success of the evening by the number
of ladies who had fainted with horror. Today it has lost none
of its power.
Dr Marigold was one of Charles Dickens most popular readings. The Doctor of the title is a market Cheap Jack, named in honour of a doctor who assisted at his birth. On the surface he is a trader with a rapid sales-patter, but underneath there lays a story both moving and heartbreaking. Although little known today, Dr Marigold still moves audiences as it did in Charles’ day.