The 71-year-old actress brings a host of characters to life, vividly connecting Mrs Micawber in David Copperfield with Dickens’s mother, and the forbidding Mrs Pipchin in Dombey And Son with his childhood guardian.
Touching on characters ranging from the sweet to the grotesque, the comic to the pitiable, and the fictional and real women in Dickens' life who inspired them, Margolyes makes the case that, while not necessarily the kindest or least sexist man of his age, the novelist could certainly create memorable female characters.
Not only is the play a testimony to the elastic acting talents of Margolyes, who transforms so completely and convincingly into every character she plays, but also to the genius and imagination of Dickens.
Miriam Margoyle's Dickens' Women at the Edinburgh Festival remains a masterclass not only in acting, but in the power of literature, writes Laura Barnett
Miriam Margoyles: A National Treasure More than two decades after its Edinburgh Festival debut, Miriam Margolyes returns to Scotland with one-woman show Dickens' Women
".....it’s also a show full of light, colour and comedy, and is, at times, gloriously irreverent. The show criticises Dickens as much as it praises him."
Filled with interesting and amusing anecdotes, poignant tales, bags of enthusiasm and passionate delivery - Dickens' Women is sublime. As for Margolyes herself - she is like an inspirational teacher; totally in the moment, and she delivers an immersive and gripping piece of theatre.
Miriam Margoyles brings the full panopoly of Victorian London to life through acting so sharp and skilled it looks like a form of possession.
It is not easy for one person to fill the Opera House stage and engage an audience as if on one-to-one with each. But in her one-woman show, Dickens' Women, Miriam Margolyes does this with consummate ease and with a passion that is infectious and totally absorbing.
I first fell in love with the comic genius of Miriam Margolyes as the deliciously appalling Spanish Infanta determined to seduce Prince Edmund, the original Blackadder. So I was tickled to discover that my students were packing the Regent because they adored her as Professor Sprout in Harry Potter. No matter when you caught up with her illustrious career on stage, film and television, your infatuation will be rekindled by the sheer brilliance of Dickens’ Women.