Charles Dickens – the Squire of Gads Hill

Lloyd Lee as Charles Dickens

2.30pm, Saturday 21 April, East Dene, Bonchurch

Lloyd Lee is Charles Dickens as he works on his final novel and, in the manner of one remembering old friends, shares his memories of past creations with us. Join the great Victorian novelist for afternoon tea and an entertaining look back on his life and works on Saturday 21 April.

Favourite characters such as the preposterous bureaucrat, Young Barnacle; that hammy old trouper Mr Vincent Crummles; our much respected, benign, and learned Mr Pickwick; all are brought to life as the author interweaves their dramas with his own personal narrative. Here, in the privacy of his study, the great man takes us into his trust, letting us share memories, revelations, and – with The Mystery Of Edwin Drood open and unfinished on the desk behind him – perhaps, even, offers a new mystery for us to solve…?

So begins a wonderful, atmospheric one-man show. As it illustrates the lives of his characters, so it comes to illuminate that of Charles Dickens, the Squire of Gads Hill, himself.

Lloyd Lee makes a triumphant return to Isle of Arts after his sell-out performance in 2011, with a brand new show to celebrate the bicentenary of Dickens' birth in Portsmouth in 1812.

The venue, East Dene, historic home of the Swinburne family, has a special connection with Charles Dickens, who stayed nearby while working on David Copperfield. He visited the Swinburnes and his children played with the young Algernon Swinburne, later to achieve literary fame as a poet.


Image: Scott Wishart

Charles Dickens interviewed by pupils from Ryde School at the 2011 festival

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