The one-man plays of Simon Callow


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The Independent Online

The actor Simon Callow is set to star in a new one-man show exploring the life and work and the German composer Richard Wagner. However, it is not the first time that Callow has taken on a one-man role.

In 2008, Callow took a performance of ‘Dr Marigold’ and ‘Mr Chops’, two monologues by the author Charles Dickens, to the Edinburgh Festival. ‘Dr Marigold’ is the tale of a travelling salesman who adopts a little deaf and dumb girl, while ‘Mr Chops’ is about a freak-show turn who wins the lottery and a place in society. The performance were repeated at various theatre venues in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Also in 2008, Callow performed a show based on the sonnets of the Bard called ‘There Love Reigns’ at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada.

See a trailer for ‘Dr Marigold’ and ‘Mr Chops’ below:


The first one-show that Callow performed was ‘The Importance of Being Oscar’ about the author Oscar Wilde at the Savoy Theatre in the West End in 1997, but two of the most recognised are ‘The Mystery of Charles Dickens’, written by Peter Ackroyd, in which 49 of the suthor's characters are brought to life, and ‘Being Shakespeare’.

‘The Mystery of Charles Dickens’ was last performed during the bicentennial celebrations for the author's birth last year, while ‘ Being Shakespeare’, which combines Shakespeare’s speeches and poetry with information about his life to create a portrait of the timeless playwright, began life as ‘The Man from Stratford’ in 2009 before evcentually being performed in London, Chicago and New York.

A trailer, including clips from the show, can be seen below: