Slices of 19th-century London life from the pen of Charles Dickens
Here are ten gloriously comic stories from Sketches by Boz, Charles Dickens' earliest collection of short pieces in which he honed his literary genius. Each tale is dramatised by Dr Stephen Wyatt with a full cast.
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Cast and credits
Written by Charles Dickens
Dramatised by Dr Stephen Wyatt
Directed by Sally Avens
Starring Nicholas Farrell as Boz
The Tuggses at Ramsgate
The nouveau riche Tugg family discover that money cannot buy you love.
Cast: Christopher Hancock, Frances Jeater, Colleen Prendergast, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Sean Baker, Tracy-Ann Oberman
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 1 September 1998
The Bloomsbury Christening
The arrival of a bouncing baby boy is wonderful news - but not for miserable misanthrope Nicodemus Dumps.
Cast: Alison Reid, Geoffrey Whitehead, Robert Harper, Charlie Simpson, Elaine Pyke
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 8 September 1998
The Great Winglebury Duel
Alexander Trott finds it is possible to become betrothed in even the most trying circumstances.
Cast: Peter Gunn, Julia Deakin, David Timson, Kim Wall and David Antrobus
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 15 September 1998
The Private Theatricals of Mrs Joseph Porter
A household becomes obsessed with amateur dramatics - with farcical results.
Cast: Geoffrey Whitehead, Frances Jeater, David Antrobus, Jane Holm, Shirley Dixon, Charles Simpson
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 22 September 1998
Mr Watkins Tottle
All Mr Tottle wants is to enter the blessed state of matrimony - but the course of true love never did run smooth.
Cast: David Collings, John Hartley, Jenny Howe, Patience Tomlinson, Christopher Scott
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 29 September 1998
Love and Oysters
Meeting an oyster seller sparks disruption for orderly John Dounce.
Cast: David Calder, Samantha Spiro, Siriol Jenkins, Elizabeth Conboy, David Allister, loan Meredith
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 5 July 1999
The Steam Excursion
A boat trip on the Thames proves the undoing of 'paragon of perfection' Percy Noakes.
Cast: Marston Bloom, Shirley Dixon, Joanna Monro, Jeremy Swift, Becky Hindley, Ben Crowe, Stephen Critchlow
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 12 July 1999
The Crumpton sisters are delighted when an MP's daughter arrives at their finishing school - until a romantic attachment comes to light.
Cast: Patience Tomlinson, Jane Booker, Gerard Murphy, Tilly Gaunt, Harry Myers, Elizabeth Conboy, Michael Mueller
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 19 July 1999
The Boarding House
The respectability of Mrs Tibbs' residential establishment is threatened by a mysterious new lodger.
Cast: Imelda Staunton, Annette Badland, Christopher Hancock, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Stephen Critchlow, Peter Gunn, Jason O'Mara
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 26 July 1999
The snobbish Maldertons are thrilled when their unmarried daughter receives the attentions of the gentlemanly Mr Sparkins. But who exactly is he?
Cast: David Haig, Tessa Worsley, Sarah-Jane Holm, Adrian Schiller, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Patrick Barlow
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 2 August 1999
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Charles Dickens is regarded by many as one of the greatest novelists to ever have lived. Now synonymous with the Victorian era, Dickens created some of the best-known fictional characters of all time and his books have been adapted and his stories retold countless times. Here are some of his best quotes.