Of course the good Doctor is not actually a doctor … but saying more would give too much away.
From the moment Ian Pearce, as the motor-mouthed 19th Century travelling bric-a-brac salesman Dr Marigold, ambles onto the stage, we are hanging on to every word of his engaging banter. Of course the good Doctor is not actually a doctor … but saying more would give too much away. The play is a gripping, funny, and moving tale (as you’d expect from Dickens) beautifully told in a crisp 55 minutes. And Pearce has done a fine job of adapting, letting Dickens’ words shine through and allowing himself as performer to instil them with such vitality. This really is theatre to savour. Pearce uses no props except a coat, yet we see every colourful detail of his story as he journeys through the towns and villages of 19th Century England and through the ups and downs of his equally colourful life. This is exactly what good theatre should be: superbly performed storytelling that pulls you in from the first moment, seduces you with its language, raises your spirits with its humour, but then still manages to grip you with scenes of quiet sadness. Charles Dickens, the master storyteller himself, would surely give a nod to Ian Pearce for bringing Dr Marigold so gloriously to life.
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