A YORK man is performing a series of plays and talks across the city on Charles Dickens and Victorian England.

Brian Oxberry, 89, writes all of his own plays and hosts talks based on Dickens and Victorian England. He has plans to host 11 plays and talks over the next few months to fundraise for local libraries.

Brian has already performed for York's civic party at York nursing home Field Court.


Brian said his play, ‘Lady Lastingham’s Legacy’, had enjoyed a "brilliant" reception. 

He said: "I’m really glad. The lounge can hold 30 people comfortably, but we had 40-odd in the end. We had to bring chairs from all over.

“The civic party came as their first official outing, and they loved it. The last sheriff came as she said she would and that she’d like to attend other shows. There was a real buzz about the place – people didn’t seem to want to leave.”

After the event, donations were given and £128 was raised for The Lord Mayor's Charity - The Stroke Association.

Brian, a retired music teacher, got into writing his own plays after organising musicals for his school. Off the back of that, he began writing his own plays during the summers – taking the work of Dickens and thinking what would these characters be like in the 21st Century.

Brian is also giving a series of talks about people in the life of Charles Dickens at York libraries. One talk - ‘Prostitution in Victorian York’ - which will be held in York's Central Library on June 19 at 11am.

The talk features a film made in collaboration with York St John University students, in which Brian plays the role of campaigning newspaper editor William Stead, whose work to outlaw child prostitution was thought to have changed the law.

Stead edited The Press' sister paper The Northern Echo. He died on The Titanic.

There will also be a talk about the children of Charles Dickens held at Tang Hall Library on June 21 at 11am and Acomb Library on June 28 at 10.30am.

The performances are free and people can just turn up.