An eight-year-old Charles visits London in the care of his uncle.
by Michael Eaton. Five short plays broadcast to mark the bi-centenary of Charles Dickens's birth.
The theme of these plays is the Dickens's changing relationship with the city that fired his imagination. Each of the plays tells a unified, 'stand-alone' story, but it also contributes to an over-arching narrative - organised around the sounds of the city and the life story of the man whose footsteps pounded those streets.
A-Not-Particularly-Taken-Care-of Boy tells how the young Charles visited London as an eight-year old boy, in the care of his uncle. They become separated by the crowds, but with the help of a young gentleman, the terrors of the unknown city become part of a new world of stories. Based on 'Gone Astray' - written in 1853 about events c.1820; 'The Pantomime of Life' - written in 1837 and 'Meditations In Monmouth Street' - Sketches by Boz.
Young Gentleman....Samuel Barnett
Street Arab....Ryan Watson
Judge / Magog....Sean Baker
Mother / Clothes Shop Woman....Joanna Monro
Music by Neil Brand
Directed by Jeremy Mortimer
Writer Michael Eaton has based each play on Dickens's own letters and journalism: Sketches By Boz and the articles from the journals Household Words and All The Year Round. But these short dramas are never afraid to play fast and loose with autobiographical details - as Dickens himself was wont to do.
Each play takes as its title one of Dickens's own appellations.
A Not Over-Particularly-Taken-Care-Of-Boy, Boz, the Sparkler of Albion, the Uncommercial Traveller and, The Inimitable.
Dickens described London as a 'Magic Lantern spectacle'. So it is appropriate that 'Dickens in London' is part of an innovative collaboration between Film London Artists' Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Drama.
'Dickens in London' is a commission for film artist Chris Newby, writer Michael Eaton, and composer Neil Brand to produce a set of cross-platform works, to be made available on Interactive Television (the Red Button) and on the Radio 4 website. The project is supported with a Grants for the Arts Award from Arts Council England.
Michael Eaton, MBE, is a screenwriter who specialises in docudrama. His work includes Shipman, Shoot To Kill and Who Bombed Lockerbie. His fictional work includes Flowers of the Forest, the TV series Signs and Wonders and feature Fellow Traveller. He has adapted works by George Eliot and Charles Dickens for BBC Radio 4.
Chris Newby is an artist with a strong track record in producing moving image pieces and feature length works that have reached wide audiences. Recent gallery shows include The Art of Faith in Norfolk, which featured a specially commissioned film by Newby. His work has been shown in galleries and film festivals nationally and internationally and has been broadcast on Channel 4, Arte and ZDF.
Neil Brand is a writer/performer/composer well known throughout the world for his accompaniment of silent films. His film scores include South (Shackleton's Journey to the South Pole), The Ring by Alfred Hitchcock, The Life and Times of David Lloyd George, and recently a highly acclaimed jazz score for the 1927 Anna Mae Wong movie Piccadilly. He has written the title music and many scores for TV documentaries, scores for over 60 Radio 4 dramas, writes music for theatre, has written two award-winning musicals and eight radio plays.