Linda Marlowe will bring Dickens to Whitehall this winter when she stars in one of two plays inspired by some of the Victorian novelist’s best known characters at the Trafalgar Studios.
Miss Havisham’s Expectations, starring Marlowe, and Sikes & Nancy, which is performed by James Swanton, will play as a double bill at the intimate Trafalgar Studio 2 from 9 December (press night 12 December) to 3 January.
Australian actress Marlowe, whose London stage credits include 2012’s Goodbye To All That at the Royal Court, will take on the role of Dickens’ iconic jilted bridge in Miss Havisham’s Expectations just as she is set to appear as a guest star in EastEnders.
The show, which enjoyed success at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012, focuses on the heroine as she wrestles with love, loss and ageing, and sees her recount episodes found in Great Expectations from her own perspective.
Combining Dickens’ original text with biographical and original material, the tale of passion and vengeance is billed as “A roller-coaster ride through what it means to be a woman both then and now.”
Directed by Di Sherlock, the production will be followed each evening by Swanton’s performance of Sikes & Nancy, a play adapted by the performer that is based on readings given by Dickens that used to make women scream and faint.
Dressed entirely in black, Swanton enacts the gripping story of the author’s most famous murder, transforming from the revolting Fagin to the unfortunate Nancy, from the righteous Brownlow to the ferocious Sikes, during the course of his dark and physical performance.
Swanton is an actor who is well-acquainted with Dickens’ work, having not only performed Sikes & Nancy for two years but also starred in his solo show Pickwick & Nickleby and his two-man adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
The double bill, which is entitled Dickens With A Difference, will play in the intimate Trafalgar Studio 2 while the latest Trafalgar Transformed production, East Is East starring Jane Horrocks, plays in the venue’s larger auditorium.