Will Simon Callow Play Dickens at the Belasco?

News   Will Simon Callow Play Dickens at the Belasco? Producers are exploring a run of the Simon Callow solo vehicle, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, a play by Peter Ackroyd, to begin April at the Belasco Theatre, according to a source close to the production.

Producers are exploring a run of the Simon Callow solo vehicle, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, a play by Peter Ackroyd, to begin April at the Belasco Theatre, according to a source close to the production.

However, no dates have been officially announced and the negotiations are apparently still under way.

The New York Times reported March 1 that Simon Callow's acclaimed one-man show written by London expert and novelist Peter Ackroyd, may land at the Belasco in April as a late entry in the 2001-02 Broadway season.

The Mystery of Charles Dickens returned to the Albery Theatre in London, where it enjoyed a run in 2000 after opening at the Comedy. Callow also scored a hit with an earlier one-man show, at the Savoy Theatre, on Oscar Wilde.

Callow is also a director and biographer of note. His bravura style lends itself perfectly to a representation of Charles Dickens, an author who in real life made an art form — and a fortune — out of highly dramatic readings from his novels: his account of the brutal death of Nancy in Oliver regularly led to fainting fits among women in the audience. In the piece, also seen at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in late 2001, Callow plays the celebrated Victorian novelist, as well as more than 40 of his creations, from Mr. Micawber ("David Copperfield") to Mrs. Gamp ("Martin Chuzzlewit") to Bill Sikes ("Oliver Twist") to Miss Havisham ("Great Expectations"). (Dickens, who worshipped the stage and often toyed with acting, would no doubt approve.) Patrick Garland directed.