'Weston deftly interweaves fact with fiction to create a wonderfully picaresque extravaganza.' Daily Mail 'David Weston is wondrously inventive but faithful to the character's origins. He has an uncanny grasp of time and place, writes with fluent wit and excitement and must t end the story with this latest thrilling volume.' Robert Hardy 'A delightful Dickensian pastiche which will definitely have the readers clamouring for more.' Mail on Sunday 'The Artful Dodger's story needed telling and David Weston has told it in a wonderfully engaging way.' Julian Fellowes 'I think the way David Weston mixes Dickens's fictional characters with real ones (Aldridge, Pushkin, a bit of Dickens himself) really works. Also the book has the energy and momentum and tension of a bloody good Victorian vel. It's as if he was reinventing a genre and taking it forward in what seems to me a most original way. This book is a bit of a kck out.' Benedict Nightingale DODGER TREADS THE BOARDS is a meticulously researched vel in which Jack Dawkins, aka The Artful Dodger, becomes the servant of Ira Aldridge, the African Roscius, the first black actor to play Othello. Using his unique theatrical kwledge, Weston tells the little-kwn story of Aldridge's ill-fated appearances at Covent Garden, blending historical figures with favourite Dickensian characters. Dickens himself, Macready, Thackeray, Browning, and the young Victoria, make their appearances, together with Newman Noggs, Inspector Bucket, and Vincent Crummles and the Infant Phemen, t forgetting the supposed ghost of Fagin. The mid-section of the book is devoted to an imagined journey to Russia where Jack is befriended by Pushkin, meets his long-lost mother and discovers the true identity of his father. On his return to London Oliver Twist makes an unexpected appearance before Jack rejoins the Roscius on a barnstorming tour of Ireland. The story is told with pace, excitement and humour in Weston's inimitable style.
David Weston was born in London and educated at Alleyn's School Dulwich where he was taught by Michael Croft and became a founder-member of the National Youth Theatre. After National Service, where he was commissioned in the Royal Artillery, he won a scholarship to RADA. He has been a working actor for more than fifty years, doing everything from starring in Hollywood films, many seasons at the RSC and the National, appearing in twenty nine of Shakespeare's plays - to Eastenders and Doctor Who. His first book, Covering McKellen, described as 'Hugely enjoyable' by the Daily Telegraph and 'Salty, evocative and informative' by the Daily Mail, won the Theatre Book of the Year Prize for 2011. Dodger - Down Under, his first novel, followed the adventures of Jack Dawkins, aka the Artful Dodger, following his transportation to Australia. David lives in Pimlico with his wife and dotes on four grandchildren, a cocker spaniel and Chelsea FC.