Darlington Civic Theatre has launched Dickens in Darlington, a series of events telling the story of the strong connections Charles Dickens had to Darlington and to the world of theatre, music hall and the railways. Dickens in Darlington will include performances, workshops, talks, a book club, storytelling and an exhibition in Crown Street Art Gallery at Darlington’s Crown Street Library from Saturday 1 October through to Wednesday 21 December.
The Dickens in Darlington Exhibition will run from October 1 to November 3 in the Crown Street
Gallery at Darlington’s Crown Street Library. The free exhibition will include images form the Charles Dickens Museum, a reconstruction of Dickens’ famous reading desk, footage from an early Dickens film as well as the display of an amazing dolls’ house based on Dickens’ home in Doughty Street, London, which is now the Charles Dickens Museum.
Join actor and storyteller Chris Connaughton on Saturday 8 October as he performs two spooky tales from the pen of Charles Dickens – a master of suspense. Chris will read The Signal-Man, an eerie tale of a railway worker haunted by a ghostly figure on the rail and The Trial for Murder, a ghost story with a chilling twist. The readings will take place at 2pm and 7pm in the Crown Street Art Gallery. Tickets are £5 with discounts at £2.50 with a recommended age of 8+.
On Monday 17 October at 1.30pm Margaret Watson tells the fascinating story of how she made a lifelong dream come true, by creating and owning a dolls’ house – a 1:12 scale model of 48 Doughty Street, the London home of Charles Dickens, now the Charles Dickens Museum. The dolls’ house will be on permanent display throughout the Dickens in Darlington exhibition.
For avid readers there will be a book group on Tuesday 25 October with two sessions at 1.30pm and 7pm in the Crown Street Art Gallery. Here you will be able to discuss Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. The book group is intended to complement the community production of A Tale of Two Cities taking place in the Dolphin Centre in November and are open to people who have purchased a ticket for the production. Free copies of the book can be provided.
The Forum on Borough Road will be the venue for a showing of the classic Dickens tale Great Expectations on Monday 3 October at 8pm. Darlington Civic Theatre and Darlington Film Club will present a showing of the 1946 film directed by David Lean and starring John Mills, Valerie Hobson and Jean Simmons. Tickets are priced £3 and are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The community cast production of A Tale of Two Cities will run on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November in Central Hall, the Dolphin Centre in Darlington. In partnership with the Touring Consortium Theatre Company, this will be a promenade performance where the audience will follow, on foot, all of the action between the two cities of London and Paris (seating will be available for people if required). Dickens considered A Tale of Two Cities to be the best story he had ever written.
Interweaving one family’s intensely personal drama with the terror and chaos of the French Revolution, it is an epic story of love, sacrifice and redemption amidst horrific violence and world changing events. This thrilling new adaptation by Mike Poulton will feature a community cast of 30 actors alongside a professional production team led by directing rising star, Eduard Lewis. Tickets* are £18, discounts £16, under 16s £10.
In the final run up to Christmas, what better way to spend an evening than listening to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – devised and performed by Chris Connaughton. Chris presents a thrilling, funny and imaginative re-telling of what is arguably Charles Dickens’ most popular tale, all in the atmospheric setting of St Cuthbert’s Church in Darlington on Wednesday 21 December at 7pm. Join Tiny Tim, The Ghost of Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, and a trio of memorable ghosts as tight-fisted miser Scrooge learns kindness and generosity and fills his heart with the true spirit of Christmas.Chris will end the evening with a seasonal episode from The Pickwick Papers, (Mr Pickwick on the ice) and maybe even some carolling to send you on your way. Tickets are £10, under 16s £5 – recommended age 8+.
To book or for further information on any of the Dickens in Darlington events contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk
*Includes £1 restoration levy