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GREAT, GREAT GRANDSON TO HEADLINE WEEKEND OF EVENTS CELEBRATING 200 YEARS SINCE THE BIRTH OF CHARLES DICKENS (24th October 2011)

Gerald Dickens, the great, great grandson of Charles Dickens is headlining a weekend of celebrations in Shropshire during early 2012, to mark the 200th anniversary since the birth of the renowned author.

Held at The Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury on 3rd, 4th and 5th of February 2012 the Dickens Weekend will be the cornerstone to a nationwide media and theatre celebration of the man who wrote A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and The Pickwick Papers. Gerald Dickens will perform two of his most popular one-person shows about his great, great grandfather in The Lion’s ballroom.

`Mr Dickens is Coming!’ is a light-hearted and varied look at the life and character of Charles Dickens. Gerald includes scenes in the play from the great author's works, including diary extracts and observations from those who knew and worked with him.

`Sikes and Nancy’ is Victorian theatre at its most dramatic. Most of Charles' readings were safe, well-known and often comic passages from his novels, but in 1869 he introduced Sikes and Nancy to his repertoire. When Dickens performed what he called `The Murder’, he judged the success of the evening by the number of ladies who had fainted with horror. Today it has lost none of its power.

The Dickens Weekend will also include a celebratory screening of the George C Scott version of A Christmas Carol - filmed in Shrewsbury during 1984 - preceded by guided walks between the local film locations. Costumed characters will perform vignettes from Dickens' most famous works in The Lion Hotel and around the town.

Chris Eldon Lee from Made in Shrewsbury, the organisation promoting the event, said: "Charles Dickens is one of Britain's greatest authors, who stayed at The Lion Hotel at least twice in the mid 19th Century. He certainly performed at Shrewsbury’s Music Hall and most likely gave readings from his novels in The Lion's ballroom. Gerald Dickens has worked as an actor, director and producer for many years and is fascinated by his great, great grandfather's life and works, regularly performing in major theatres, arts centres and stately homes. He will be staying at The Lion in the same rooms Charles stayed in; which he described as `the strangest little rooms' with windows that 'bulge out over the street as if they were little stern windows of a ship'. We are very pleased to have secured him for this series of celebratory events and look forward to a fantastic weekend of entertainment; falling as it does just two days before the bicentennial of Charles Dickens’ birth.”

Tickets for each of the performances are £8.50 (£15 combined ticket) and £10 for a Christmas Carol Day. They are available to book direct with The Lion Hotel; which has also arranged an all-in-one package deal for guests wishing to spend the weekend at the hotel; on 01743 353107 or online at We Got Tickets: www.wegottickets.com/f/3039

More information about the weekend’s events is available at: www.thelionhotelshrewsbury.com/dickens-at-the-lion.