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Ms. Christine Morris

Associate Professor

Ms. Christine Morris

DVD set: Nicholas Nickleby (RSC production, 1983) by Charles Dickens

In 1981, I was lucky to see this Royal Shakespeare Company production when it came to New York where my husband and I, young actors fresh out of grad school, had just moved. This adaptation of the complete Charles Dickens novel was eight and a half hours long, with 48 actors playing 150 characters. One could see it in two successive evenings, or in one day, with a dinner break between the matinee and evening shows. Tickets were an exorbitant $100 - it was our Christmas present to each other that year. We did it in one day, and when the final curtain came down, at nearly midnight, we in the audience were on our feet (and this being a time when standing ovations for every show were not standard behavior) - cheering, not wanting the experience to be over. It remains the most transformative experience I've ever had in a theatre, that feeling of communion with my fellows in the audience and with the actors, an experience that continues to speak to the power of live theatre, and a continuing reminder of why it's worth doing.