The Mystery of Charles Dickens

The Mystery of Charles Dickens tickets


Simon Callow brought his acclaimed one-man show The Mystery of Charles Dickens to the Playhouse Theatre for a limited run through 10 November 2012.

Written by Peter Ackroyd, the play tells the story of one of Britain’s most celebrated authors who wrote beloved classics such as A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby. Taking inspiration from the recitals Dickens himself gave all around the world, the production gave a taste of Victorian life in the words of the man who described it best. In this exhilarating tour de fource, Callow brought Dickens’ story to life, as well as 49 of his well-known characters from Bill Sikes to Miss Havisham. The Mystery of Charles Dickens first premiered in 2000 before being revived in 2002. This production marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.

There was a post-show Q&A with Simon Callow after all Wednesday matinee performances from 26 September to 24 October.

Cast Information

Simon Callow’s exceptional career in theatre includes playing Mozart in the original production of Amadeus, The Woman in White, Waiting for Godot, and Equus. His film and television appearances include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, The Phantom of the Opera, Acts of Godfrey, Jamie’s Dream School, and Doctor Who, while he has also appeared as a judge on Popstar to Operastar. His most recent appearance in the West End was in his one-man show Being Shakespeare, which played at the Trafalgar Studios after a successful international tour. He also appeared in a one-man production of A Christmas Carol last year at the Arts Theatre.

Show Length and Times

Evening performances for The Mystery of Charles Dickens began at 7.30pm from Monday to Saturday, with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:30pm. The running time was 2 hours including an interval.


  1. SUPERB! Simon Callow gave it his all, and his all is stunningly brilliant, excellent, powerful and thrilling; this is what I picked up from the audience, not just from my own view (I do admire Dickens legacy and am involved, so am somewhat biased). Peter Ackroyd’s book was deeply researched and excellently written, so there is not much new in terms of detail, but what there is- is the vehicle for Simon Callow to to present Dickens in the way we know he was- the brilliantly inspired genius, haunted and twisted by fears, anxieties and even terror, spurred on by international fame and success in literature, reform and acting, sadly weakened by poor health, depression and failure in marriage and frustration with his children. Simon takes us through all this, and at a fierce fast pace- he presents so many different characters with the same, passionate expertise that Dickens used to hold his audience spellbound- he holds us in the palm of his hand, having the same eye contact with the audience that Dickens had. We may never see a better imitation of the great man’s legendary stage presence than Maestro Simon presents- if you want to learn more about the mystery which is Dickens, go forth and learn about it.

  2. Simon Callow is brilliant and brings to life so many of the characters of Charles Dickens. I’ve also recently enjoyed Simon in the role of a narrator in the orchestral work, Scrooge by Bryan Kelly, which is an action-packed Dickens compression. The Naxos recording (cat no 8.572744) is available in most good record shops.

  3. Simon Callow was breathtaking and brilliant, heart wrenching and terrifying in this production….I could not remove my eyes from his wizardry on stage. His show is not to be missed. It is a wonderful tribute to Dickens, and an astonishing tour de force by and actor whose passion for this subject is served by his unending maelstrom of talents.

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