‘Nicholas Nickleby’ or ‘The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby’ is a novel by Charles Dickens. Originally published as a serial from 1838 to 1839, it was Dickens’ third novel. The novel centers on the life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, a young man who must support his mother and sister after his father dies. His Uncle Ralph, who thinks Nicholas will never amount to anything, plays the role of principal antagonist.
David Edgar’s extraordinary two-part adaptation of Dickens’ great comic masterpiece became a landmark production on its RSC premiere in 1980. Performed by a company of 27 actors, David Edgar’s new version of Nicholas Nickleby is presented across two performances, combining to create an experience of rare scope and genuine scale. There are opportunities to experience this exhilarating spectacle, afternoon and evening, all in one day.
The ebullient narrative follows Nicholas, left penniless on the death of his father, as he escapes the influence of his villainous Uncle Ralph and the tyrannical schoolmaster Wackford Squeers and embarks on a thrilling journey through 1830s’ England. Dickens’ genius for creating eccentric, exuberant and captivating characters is brought vividly to life in this action-packed epic as theatrical spectacle and genuine big-heartedness flawlessly combine.