Wilkie Collins’ play The Lighthouse was described by Dickens as a ‘regular old-style Melo Drama’. Dickens played the lighthouse keeper Aaron Gurnock when the play was first staged at Tavistock House in 1855 and wrote the prologue and an eight-verse Song of the Wreck for his daughter Mamie to sing. The first printed English version of the play has now been published by Francis Boutle Publishers – from whom Fellowship members can obtain a copy for £9.99 if they so wish.
‘A Dickensian Drawing Room’ features music typical of the Victorian period, works by Dickens’ favourite composers, duets with biographical links to the author, and pieces specifically referenced in his writings.
Dickens World at Chatham Maritime, Kent have introduced a new attraction - the Grand Tour. Instead of the former free flow, visitors now must book for a guided tour conducted by professional actors which will offer an educational yet funny and interactive experience.
Another change - Ticket prices are reduced to £5.50 (adults and children). Tickets must be booked in advance, at least 48 hours before arrival, either online www.dickensworld.co.uk or phone 0844 858 6656
A number of Fellowship members have asked me to clarify the situation with regard to free admission to the Dickens Muesum in London. I have spoken to Florian Schweizer, the Director of the Museum who told me that they value the link with the Fellowshhip and are delighted to welcome embers free of charge to the newly refurbished museum.
However, if you are planning to visit then don't forget to wear your Fellowship badge or bring along your membership card.
At the recent Central Fellowship meeting Michael Slater referred to a play by Simon Gray about Dickens and Ellen Ternan, called "Little Nell". Members may be interested to know that this is published by Faber and Faber both as Volume 5 of Simon Gray's Collected Plays (ISBN 10- 0571234240 and ISBN 13 978 057 1234246) and as a separate small book (under the title "Little Nell") (ISBN 10 057125490X and ISBN 13 978 0571254903). (With thanks to Derek Hyde for this information.)
Sadly the bicenntenial year has come to an end. The Dickens 2012 site was a particularly useful one for many Dickensians. The site is still available and those wishing to look back on the amazing events of the last year are invited to take another look around to stir some fond memories of and event that ww will not see again in our life time. Well done!