Ribble Valley antique collectors need no reminder that 2012 marked the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens – and the festivities continue this year, with a new stage production of Great Expectations, and the unveiling of the first Dickens statue in the UK.
The Vaudeville theatre was built at a time when the Victorian mahogany pedestal desk and antique balloon backed dining chair were contemporary fashion. On 1st February, the theatre turned the clock back once more, with a new production of Great Expectations, which transferred to the West End following a successful tour last autumn.
The play, adapted for the stage by Jo Clifford, stars Paula Wilcox as Miss Havisham – a role also played by Helena Bonham Carter in the 2012 big screen adaptation. On 7th February, Dickens’ birthday, Lancashire cinema goers will be able to match it up against the stage version, as it is getting a special screening at 150 selected cinemas across the country. This will also mark the launch of the Dickens Legacy, a charity which raises funds for causes that concerned the novelist when he was alive.
Something that may concern him is the unveiling of a new statue in Dickens’ birth town of Portsmouth, as the author firmly directed in his will that no monuments should be erected in his memory. Perhaps more to his taste would be the Charles Dickens museum, which reopened in December 2012, authentically recreating the author’s home as it was when he lived there – right down to his Victorian mahogany pedestal desk. Preston antique dealers have antique desks in the same style.
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