A meticulously researched novel in which Jack Dawkins, aka The Artful Dodger, becomes the servant of Ira Aldridge, the African Roscius, the first black actor to play Othello.
Using his unique theatrical knowledge, Weston tells the little-known story of Aldridge’s ill-fated appearances at Covent Garden, blending historical figures with favourite Dickensian characters. Dickens himself, Macready, Thackeray, Browning, and the young Victoria, make their appearances, together with Newman Noggs, Inspector Bucket, and Vincent Crummles and the Infant Phenomenon, not forgetting the supposed ghost of Fagin.
The mid-section of the book is devoted to an imagined journey to Russia where Jack is befriended by Pushkin, meets his long-lost mother and discovers the true identity of his father.
On his return to London Oliver Twist makes an unexpected appearance before Jack rejoins the Roscius on a barnstorming tour of Ireland. The story is told with pace, excitement and humour in Weston’s inimitable style.
David Weston was born in London and educated at Alleyn's School Dulwich where he was taught by Michael Croft and became a founder-member of the National Youth Theatre. After National Service, where he was commissioned in the Royal Artillery, he won a scholarship to RADA. He has been a working actor for more than fifty years, doing everything from starring in Hollywood films, many seasons at the RSC and the National, appearing in twenty nine of Shakespeare's plays - to Eastenders and Doctor Who.
His first book, Covering McKellen, described as 'Hugely enjoyable' by the...
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