Charles Dickens is rumored to have considered creating a sequel to his renowned classic, Oliver Twist, but such a work was never created in his lifetime. While Dickens might not have been able to create a story for an older Oliver, Tony Lee has taken the Dickensian characters from this work and made a story set ten years after the original ended. Oliver has returned to London to deal with the solicitors controlling his adopted father’s estate, but with this money held out of reach, he finds himself back in the world of pickpockets and thieves. Dodger has a plan that will make both men obscenely wealthy with just one big scheme. As the Audible Original Drama of Dodge & Twist unfolds listeners will find themselves transported into the dangerous streets of London and surrounded by the criminal characters Oliver thought he had escaped.
Dodge & Twist immediately immerses you in the world of 19th century London through music. This might not seem like something you would think would pull someone in, but there is a certain type of music that is frequently used in television and audio work that is set in this sort of time period and once I hear it the stage is immediately set for me. Audible also includes some great ambient noise, primarily city sounds, that make the world come alive inside your mind. I do love Dickens, though my love ties more directly to A Christmas Carol through a variety of reasons including being Scrooge in a high school production of the show. This means that while I enjoy the characters created by the illustrious author I am not an expert on everything connected to Oliver Twist. Lee’s drama does help those of us who might not remember every character or moment from the original story by including explanations for some of the characters who are introduced. There is also an interesting reference to someone from A Christmas Carol later in the drama that is remarkably clever.
Audible always impresses me with the level of talent in their audio dramas. Will Howard in the role of Oliver is able to present a level of youth and optimism through just his voice that is matched by James Joyce’s cocky, yet downtrodden Dodger. When these two characters are in conversation Dodger appears more in charge, but once he is alone or seemingly alone he becomes more subdued. The interesting element of this story that has a more supernatural feeling is the ghost of Fagin. Voiced by Matt Lucas, this character can only be heard by Dodger and once other characters become aware of his presence they begin to worry about the young man’s motivations. Fagin is urging Dodger down a path that could lead to terrible consequences for not only him, but Oliver. I enjoyed Dodge & Twist and would listen to it again. If you love Dickens, English literature, or just want to listen to a well performed drama you can start listening to Dodge & Twist on Audible today.