For those of you who have become used to long, detailed blog entries which take you through every waking minute of my day, you will find this one a little more brief.

This one is a shameless piece of self-promotion.

On Friday evening at the Unicorn Theatre in my home town of Abingdon, I will be performing A Dickens Double Bill. The show features two of my favourite short stories written by Charles Dickens in the mid 1860s.

The Signalman is a spine chilling, eerie ghost story which takes place in a lonely signal box in a deep, damp railway cutting.  The narrator tells the tale of his chance encounter with the signalman under whose charge that stretch of line was.

What starts as an idle conversation to pass an hour or two soon becomes something much darker and more terrifying.

The fact that Dickens wrote The Signalman a year after he had been involved in a terrible railway accident lends an awful realism to the piece.

Regular readers of my blog will know all about Doctor Marigold.  Written in 1865 this charming monologue is a piece of Dickens little known today but one which delights audiences whenever they hear it.

Marigold featured heavily in Charles Dickens’ highly successful public reading tours and differs from most of his repertoire in that it is delivered in the first person. Almost reminiscent of Alan Bennett’s amazing ‘Talking Head’ sketches which were so popular in the 1980s, the audience really begins to feel as if they know the gentle man who shares his life’s struggles, tragedies and joys with them.

The two shows contrast beautifully and I am thoroughly looking forward to presenting them as a double bill for the first time on Friday.

So, now with my producer’s hat on: tickets are still available and can be ordered directly from me (use the email link on my website: or, if you are local, they can be purchased at Mostly Books in Stert Street, in the centre of Abingdon itself.

I look forward to seeing as many as possible on Friday and to writing a complete account of the show next week.


Friday, 19 September, Unicorn Theatre, Abbey Buildings, Abingdon.

marigold poster white jpg