Harry Potter Actress Performs Dickens at CGS

Miriam Margolyes in Dickens' Women. Photo by Prudence Upton

Professor Natalie McKnight found a creative way to interest her students in Charles Dickens—she enlisted a celebrity to bring his characters to life. On October 17, 2012, CGS students were spellbound by Dickens’ Women, a one-woman show by British actress Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films), interweaving a dramatization of 23 women from Dickens’s novels with a narrative of the author’s life.

McKnight, associate dean for faculty research & development and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, brought the production to Boston University for the annual Stanley Stone “lecture,” which coincided with the bicentennial of Dickens’s birth.

“The show highlights Dickens’s mastery of characterization and captures the humor and pathos and vitality of his characters, while at the same time giving you a sense of the trajectory of his life,” McKnight says. “Dickens’s nine-hundred-page novels are not everyone’s cup of tea in this day and age, so if I can expose students to Dickens with Dickens’ Women, well, that’s something! They gave her a standing ovation.”—Lara Ehrlich

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