what's on in London
Yes they have updated the museum with great thought
and dedication; there is much to see and it's well worth
a visit, whether to satisfy curiosity as to why there has
been so much publicity about Dickens this year, or to
better understand him by sharing details about his life,
in the actual rooms where he and his family lived, loved,
entertained, worked, thrived and suffered grief.
Charles Dickens Museum London is an essential part of
London, as necessary to visit as the Tower and Trafalgar
Square- just go. you won't be disappointed.
Hi everyone- well we had a truly great day- for me, the thought that so many youngsters (and not so young) went away having really enjoyed themselves and been inspired, thinking about positive issues such as personal best and excellence, was very exciting.
Whether you gave a lot or a little of your time and energy, you did it, like me, for free! I am very proud to feel that so many people have enjoyed helping for the sake of it, rather than for financial reward; many of you have gone home proud and
thrilled to feel that in some small way you, like me, have helped to make a difference. Thank you, all of you, most humbly and sincerely. Of course, I'll let everyone know how much we have already raised- and I will be continuing until the end of year or January. Thank you again, so much.
If you wish to donate:http://www.justgiving.com/Christopher-West
Well known writer, Lucinda Hawksley,
will be a guest speaker at our
Dickens Day For GOSH, next Sunday,
25th November, at the Royal Society
For Medicine, Wimpole Street. You
may already know that she is the
great great great granddaughter
of Charles Dickens, so no surprise
that she talks expertly on the subject.
Lucinda is sitting where her famous
ancester used to sit, while eating at
Rules, one of his favourite restaurants.
Pictured with Lucinda, is Dominick Gerrard
also performing for us, with his puppet,
Chiswick School Theatre Company
is performing 'Hard Times,' an
adaptation of the opening pages
of Dickens Hard Times, featuring
a scene set in Coketown school.
This shows Dickens’ satirical
attitude to schooling in the
1800s. There will be performances
and inspirational Talks taking
place right through the day. If you
can't make it on the day, please
donate to help us raise money for
Great Ormond Street Hospital, of
which Dickens was a great patron.
What a wonderful Queen! And husband, Prince Phillip.
This evening's Talk at 6 pm will share much more
about Her Majesty and we will continue the celebration
by talking about Her links with Charles Dickens, also
with her great grandmother Queen Victoria. We will be
eating together after the Talk finishes, at 7.30 pm.
The George On The Strand, opposite The Royal Courts
Of Justice. Otherwise, do come along and pay on
arrival, there should be space available.
Settling down now, towards the
end of this triumphant celebration
of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. A
lovely surprise for me, was to see
Gloriana moored here in the docks.
The million pound row barge,
painstakingly hand built, which took
more than four years by 60 craftsmen,
was certainly one of
the main attractions
in the Thames
Diamond Jubilee Pageant
this weekend, leading more than 1,000
boats to honour the occasion. The first
royal barge to be built in 100 years,
Gloriana was powered on the day by
18 oarsmen, led by Britain's greatest
Olympian, Steve Redgrave. The
organisation here seems to have been
a great success; with bigger crowds
than ever before, the management
team should be delighted (and probably
What a marvellous weekend of
celebrations. Join us to hear more about
Charles Dickens and Two Great Queens.
There are fascinating letters and
memorabilia at Buckingham Palace,
recording close links to Dickens.
Tickets are still available at The George,
through Skiddle.com, or my website:
The Queen and Prince Phillip
obviously enjoyed themselves
enormously, and so did the people.
The atmosphere here was full of joy,
pride, fun and thrills; absolutely
splendid and unique. Thanks and
praise to a most wonderful Monarch.
The Queen has always used
Twinings Tea for Her own use.
Do visit their fabulous shop
for a free cup of any tea you
choose- it's next door to where
I hold my Talks at The George
In The Strand. There will be
plenty more to look at, while
we celebrate Her sixty years
of dutiful service to the Nation.
The Queen's links with Her great
grandmother, Queen Victoria
and Charles Dickens will also be
discussed. We will be eating at The George,
after the Talk, you are warmly invited to join us.
Tickets for the Talk:
'Charles Dickens And Two Great Queens',
are still available at Skiddle.com
all the boats
Excitement is mounting at our
splendid St Katharine Docks.
Everyone already seems to be
in holiday mood, with crowds
gathering to see the fabulous
array of different boats. Many
of them will be open to the
public during the weekend.
Tickets are still available
for my Talk on the 6th at
The George In The Strand.
Do also join us for a celebration
meal after the Talk at 7.30 pm.
The George is easy to find,
opposite the Royal Courts
Queen Elizabeth is well known to have admired the work of Charles Dickens,
and this will be extensively discussed at
my next Talk at the George In The Strand
on 6th June. We will also be discussing
Dickens relationship with the Queen of his
time, Queen Victoria. There is tremendous
excitement growing about the Jubilee
celebrations, so do join us for dinner at
The George to celebrate, following the Talk
Some of you will know I reviewed this show previously at the Landor Theatre.
It has now opened in the West End and is truly excellent. Do just book up and
go to see it.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the Arts Theatre- Explores Charles Dickens
unfinished final novel, who died half way through writing it. We are introduced
to members of the 'Theatre Royale', by an excellent, traditional Chairman
(Denis Delahunt), hosting a music hall style rendition of the story. Pre show
opening songs, such as 'Champagne Charlie', cleverly transforms the Arts Theatre into a 19th century Music Hall, buzzing with audience participation (song sheets provided) stiffened by cast members in the auditorium, successfully
encouraging people to join in. The Musical Play then begins and the plot develops
quickly, amidst good songs, sung well by various characters. The plot works
through the murder (or was it)? The first act needs time to develop because of
the depth of Dickens characterisation. Possible motives are presented for each
suspect- obvious clues are amusingly emphasised, then the audience is asked to
vote, after passionate pleadings from each suspect to vote for Them! The vote
scene is hilarious, and there is much wit and funny lines throughout. Most
impressive is the combined strength of the cast; each member oozing proficiency in clarity, expression and timbre. The songs provide great variety, some being used cleverly to develop character, interspersed with gusty choruses from 'the entire company'- every movement is choreographed with panache and
fine detail. Music is voraciously led from the electric piano by James Cleeve, including flute, clarinet, percussion, trumpet and cello, (I couldn't discern a single wrong note)! Costumes and scenery are very impressive. Each performer shows professional sparkle and excellence, but the extra gush and tingle factor came for me as Wendi Peters powerfully and reliably let rip from the very first note of 'Don't Quit While You're Ahead', right up to the end of the show, inspiring those around her superbly, with a stirringly excellent finale, she is now, historically, a Music Hall Star! Finally, the serious strands of this Dickensian feast are subtly brought together in 'The Writing On The Wall' by Edwin Drood (Natalie Day), who sings with great feeling and emotion. Dickens was himself a successful entertainer, so would have loved this delightful production - he would also have savoured the argument, mystery and stimulation of debate, and would have adored the excitement in the audience. This novel is well documented as the most discussed of all, and for good reason. The production has grown tremendously beyond the Landor, and I did write that I believed it should get to the West End- the obvious courage, determination and graft that has gone into 'Drood' has paid off splendidly. The intimate, comfortable Arts Theatre, is a delightful venue. Does more await? Certainly it is good enough! The timing is right, celebrating 200 years of the great man. In any event, again, congratulations to the cast, production team and Director Matthew Gould.
Thank you everyone who came to Monday's
Talk about Charles Dickens and the East End,
and for the kind comments received. My own
thanks to Father Michael for being an excellent
host at his historic Hawksmoor Church, St George
In The East. Thanks also to Martha Leigh, who
was so interesting about 'the old days' life in
Splendid event and most enjoyable, sharing a historic, traditional custom, reminding us of important values which are still as valid today, despite all the apparant change around us. There are many more photos available, please contact me at email@example.com.
My next Talk tomorrow, 21st May,
will include many references to
Charles Dickens, during the 40 years
plus that he was involved with the
East End. Martha Leigh will bring alive
just what it was like to live in Wapping
'in the old days'.
The splendid St George In The East
Church will be our historic venue,
then people are welcome to join
us for drinks or coffee in the bar at
nearby, Wiltons Music Hall, famously
known as the first Music Hall ever.
The East End was well known
to Charles Dickens. He visited
Rookeries with the police, loved
the stage attractions at Hoxton
and Hackney, and featured
Limehouse, Whitechapel and
Docklands in Dombey and Son
and Our Mutual Friend.
These will all be discussed in my
locally at Hussey Quality Butchers
We will be having drinks in the bar at
Wiltons Music Hall after the Talk. It's
only a few minutes walk from our venue,
St George In The East. They serve tea
and coffee as well as drinks, and will have
tasty bagels available for anyone who's
hungry; it's also a good opportunity to
have a look around, if you haven't been
NEXT PUBLIC TALK:
Charles Dickens And The East End,
with guest Martha Leigh,talking about her book,
'Memories of Wapping 1900 to 1960'.
Venue: St George In The East, The Highway,London E.1.
Time: 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm
Tickets £5: Concessions £4.
or at the door, (if room permits).
This splendid Hawkesmoor church was
built in 1729 and looks magnificent from
The Highway. Sadly, the interior was
destroyed by a bomb during the Blitz, but
beautifully restored early in the 1960's. I
feel privileged to be able to use this
wonderful place as a venue. The church's
history is fascinating, and well documented
There is still space, so do come along
to my Talk at the George this afternoon
at 4.30 pm; tickets will be available at
the door. Dickens was the greatest
novelist of his time and he used his pen
and personality to become the greatest
reformer of his time. We will explore his experience of the law from childhood to
Sir Henry Dickens was the most successful
of Dickens' children, becoming one of the
most senior judges, as The Common Serjeant
of London(full title The Serjeant-at-Law in the Common Hall).
This is an ancient British legal
office, first recorded in 1291, and is the second most senior permanent
judge of the Central Criminal Court, after the Recorder of London, first recorded in 1291.
There are so many attractions near the George; another one is the Apex Hotel at Serjeants Inn. This splendid photo shows Wilfredo, the smart Philippino
Doorman Extraordinaire, next to the green elephant (which represents the company's dedication to improving the environment).The area immediately
around has a rich
history forged by Templars, Serjeants, barristers and journalists.The Apex Temple Court Hotel occupies the site of one of the historic
Serjeants’ Inns which housed on order of barrister’s known as the
Serjeants-at-Law. The last record of the Serjeants-at-Law here dates
from their departure in 1730. More in my Talk on the 8th.