Thursday, 16 February 2012

Queen celebrates Charles Dickens anniversary

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a performance that featured some of Dicken’s most popular characters to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the novelist’s birth.

Characters from the novels Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby were brought to life in a new piece called Mr Dickens and the Actors.

Put together by actor and director Philip Franks, it was staged at the Guildhall in London, marking the bicentenary of the birth of Dickens.

The Queen found that at one point during the afternoon, she was not the only Queen in the room: one of the characters in the performance was Queen Victoria, played by Spiro.

This was a significant moment, because Dickens is said to have snubbed Queen Victoria after a performance in 1857 - a revelation that provoked laughter from the crowd.

After the performance, the Queen met people from the Royal Theatrical Fund, including Janie Dee, one of the Fund's directors, who is starring in Noises Off at the Old Vic.

The director of the performance, Richard Clifford, said of putting on a show for the Queen: "It's always a great privilege particularly as she's not a huge theatre-goer.

"It's lovely for us to celebrate his (Dickens) bicentenary with her."

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