Charles Dickens Museum and Dickens After Dark presentation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood 10 July 2015

On our return to London from Canterbury and other towns in Ken we checked into the Grange Lancaster Hotel, one of the boutique Grange hotels located in a traditional Georgian townhouse on Bedford Street in Bloomsbury, near the University of London Senate House where I was scheduled to attend a reception the evening of 7 July 2015. After the reception we had dinner at a nice Indian Restaurant Hason Raja and then we walked the streets of Bloomsbury to find the Charles Dickens Museum located in a Georgian Townhouse at 48 Doughty Street. We arrived after hours but soon found out that a rare “Dickens After Dark” event was to held on Friday 10 July. Cheryl managed to get tickets while I was at the history conference and we returned Friday to see a “World Premiere of the Mystery of Edwin Drood” (son Charley Dickens rare manuscript) performed by five theatrically talented Dickens scholars and presented in vignettes in each room of the Dickens House. See http://www.dickensmuseum.com/events/dickens-after-dark-the-summer-addition/

Dr. Tony Williams, Dr. Peter Orford, Dr. Claire Wood, Ed Haslam, and Karen Martin,

Dr. Tony Williams, Dr. Peter Orford, Dr. Claire Wood, Ed Haslam, and Karen Martin,

Dickens lived 48 Doughty Street from 1837 until 1839 and wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby during this time. It wasn’t the first time that we had set foot into Dicken’s history during our trip having spent a day at Broadstairs, Kent on Sunday meeting cousins at the Royal Albion Hotel and walked up the path to the “Bleak House” overlooking Viking Bay. A few days later we also walked by the John Harvard Library in Southwark that was once the location for the Marshalsea Prison where Dicken’s father had been imprisoned for debt and nearby St. George the Martyr Church also known as Little Dorrit’s Church because of the story set there by Dickens in his novel Little Dorrit. At the end of his career Dickens was working on The Mystery of Edwin Drood but died before it was finished. His son Charley Dickens completed a manuscript but it was never produced into a play nor publicly read until this Dickens After Dark performance that coincided with the exhibition A Dickens Whodunit: Solving the Mystery of Edwin Drood curated by Dr. Peter Orford of the University of Buckingham. http://www.dickensmuseum.com/exhibitions/temporary-exhibition/

We really enjoyed this Dickens after Dark event and visiting with the actors in between sets to learn more about how each of them has a personal and deep interest in Dickens and special expertise to share with others. Cheryl received a hands-on lesson in book-binding after the performance and we both enjoyed the music in the summer garden by Facio (and Pulpo on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwCA0h9u890 ) and Jean Caprice on accordion (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNGGuKbpN18 ) We thank Shannon Hermes Museum Manager and all the museum staff for working on the many activities that made our visit to the Charles Dickens Museum so enjoyable.

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