Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Add mobile users to gallery of scoundrels

Robert Powell: Dickens' Villains, Elmwood Hall

Robert Powell returned after many years to the Belfast Festival at Queen's last night full of “happy memories of a time that was not very happy for the people of Belfast”.

But the well-respected actor was not in town to discuss a fascinating career that has seen him play everything from the title role in Jesus Of Nazareth to Jasper Carrott's straight man in The Detectives.

Instead, he was here to expound on Charles Dickens' “gallery of scoundrels”.

“If villainy had not existed, the writers of fiction would have felt compelled to invent it,” he began, before reading select scenes from Dickens' books.

It was like an audiobook in person, as Powell dipped in and out of Dickens greatest bad guys. There was even a recital of an obscure Dickens short story, the macabre Captain Murderer.

Alas, the experience was ruptured by three mobile phones going off during the event.

Powell was understandably irked, but ever the pro, he pressed on.

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Spending time with family will help relieve stress. It's comforting to be surrounded by those who understand your quirks. In your public life, you feel like you always have to explain yourself to colleagues. This becomes incredibly draining. To add insult to injury, you've had difficulty finding an appropriate job for your level of expertise. Instead of holding out for the perfect opportunity, you should take a low level job that yields regular pay.More