BEST OF TIMES: THE THEATRE
OF CHARLES DICKENS
November 7, 2002 - February 15,
The Vincent Astor Gallery
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
40 Lincoln Center Plaza
|Dickens, as Captain Bobadill in
a production of Every Man In His Humour by Ben Jonson.
Dickens played this role on several occasions.
There is a story -- perhaps
apocryphal -- that, as Charles Dickens was leaving the theatre one
night following his performance as Captain Bobadill in Every
Man in His Humour, an old supernumerary remarked: "Ah,
what an actor you would have made, Mr. Dickens, if it just hadn't
been for them books."
It was only a bad cold that prevented the young and
out-of-work Charles Dickens from attending a scheduled audition
at Covent Garden Theatre. Had he appeared, the course of English
literature might have been drastically altered
Despite Dickens's unprecedented success as a novelist,
his love of the theatre never waned. Throughout his life, he seized
every opportunity to be near the stage. As playwright, actor, stage
manager, director, librettist, it hardly mattered so long as, somehow,
he had his hand in.
This exhibition, BEST OF TIMES; THE THEATRE OF CHARLES
DICKENS, explores the great novelist's passion for and participation
in live theatre from his boyhood through the last months of his