Art & Culture — 07 February 2012
Happy Birthday Charlie-boy! London goes Dickens crazy

As the world commemorates the bicentenary of the birth of novelist Charles Dickens, London leads the celebrations with a host of events taking place across the capital today.

Westminster Abbey, where Dickens is buried, is getting things started with a wreath-laying in Poets’ Corner, led by Prince Charles.

The service will feature readings from some of the author’s descendants, actor Ralph Fiennes and the biographer Claire Tomalin, who caused controversy over the weekend when she claimed that Dickens was ‘beyond modern children’.

Meanwhile, on the Southbank, the BFI will host the UK leg of the British Council’s global 24-hour Dickens read-a-thon.

Today’s event marks the start of season of Dickens on Screen at the BFI, which will premiere three new short films inspired by the author.

Throughout the rest of February many of the big screen’s best adaptations will be shown, including the brilliant Alastair Sim’s turn as Scrooge. Oliver Twist will be available as both a 1922 silent movie and, of course, the legendary production, starring Alec Guinness as Fagin. For those wanting something more contemporary, try Robert De Niro, Gynneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke in Hollywood’s 1998 take on Great Expectations. For a complete list of all related events at the BFI and to book tickets click here.

Camden’s Dickens Museum is open for now, but as Scout London recently reported, it will be closing for the summer.

Scout London might finally get to know our Mr Pumblechooks from our Martin Chuzzlewits.

 

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