Dr Marigold & Mr Chops at Chichester Festival Theatre

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Simon Callow’s performance of these two Dickens stories is completely enthralling.

Starring in the one-man plays, Dr Marigold and Mr Chops, he manages to capture the essence of the Victorian cockney characters with passionate skill.

Mr Chops is a dwarf who, after longing to belong in society and own ‘property,’ wins the lottery, only to find out that he will always be an outsider.

While Mr Marigold is a ‘cheap jack,’ a travelling salesman who adopts a deaf and dumb girl after the loss of his family.

The moment Callow begins the monodramatics it’s easy to become completely absorbed. He makes it clear to see Dicken’s comments on Victorian society, as you pity and empathise with two characters who at first glance on paper appear as neither the good or bad guy; the tricksters of their trade.

The set up by designer Christopher Woods and lighting designer Nick Richings is impeccable, as the static props compliment Callow’s performance perfectly, whose presence commands the whole auditorium.

Adapted and directed by Patrick Garland, it’s easy and enjoyable to watch.

Utterly captivating.

Until November 26.

MISCHA ALLEN