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A few years ago, while working with Chestertons, I was asked to research the history of Bleak House in Broadstairs. It is well known as a house connected to the renowned Victorian author, for which, it is believed he said, it was ‘the residence he most desired.’

Today, Bleak House is noted for its crenelated appearance with a long row of windows looking out towards the sea, but when Charles Dickens stayed in the house it was known as Fort House and appeared much like a typical Georgian house. It was built around the turn of the 19th century and acquired the name ‘Fort House’ as it is believed it was the home of the Fort Captain. This was at a time when the Napoleonic wars were raging in Europe and like many coastal locations there was a genuine fear of invasion from…

Source: Dickens House for Christmas | House Historian

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FROM THE ARCHIVE

Originally posted on First Night Design.

Although this engraving by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Charles Pugin is available online in the public domain, mine is actually a scan from an original print published as Plate 69 of Microcosm of London (1810) which my parents had bought from a local antique dealer in the 1960s.

I have not been able to discover what’s being performed but it looks something of a spectacular production what with the horse and carriage, the Boadicea-like figure and gigantic pillars! If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

While the following quote is not from the early 19th century, it describes what Sadler’s Wells had become by the 1840s:

‘Without, the theatre, by night, was like the worst part of the worst kind of Fair in the worst kind of town. Within, it was a bear-garden, resounding with foul language, oaths, catcalls, shrieks, yells, blasphemy, obscenity – a truly diabolical clamour. Fights took place anywhere, at any period of the performance… Sickly children in arms were squeezed…

via First Night Design | Sadler’s Wells Theatre by Rowlandson & Pugin | First Night Design.


First Night Design

This is the best film version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale bar none! Alastair Sim [1900–1976] was a sublime actor and farceur. I was lucky enough to see him on stage on several occasions including Peter Pan at the Scala Theatre, where he played Mr Darling and Captain Hook, and the title role in Arthur Wing Pinero’s farce, The Magistrate at the Criterion. Genius.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Writing Credits: Charles Dickens … (adapted from A Christmas Carol)
Noel Langley: (adaptation and screenplay)

Cast (in credits order)

Alastair Sim …Ebenezer Scrooge

Kathleen Harrison …Mrs. Dilber

Mervyn Johns …Bob Cratchit

Hermione Baddeley …Mrs. Cratchit

Michael Hordern …Jacob Marley

George Cole …Young Ebenezer Scrooge

John Charlesworth …Peter Cratchit

Francis De Wolff …Spirit of Christmas Present (as Francis de Wolff)

Rona Anderson …Alice

Carol Marsh …Fan Scrooge

Brian Worth …Fred

Miles Malleson …Old Joe

Ernest Thesiger …The Undertaker

Glyn Dearman …Tiny Tim

Michael Dolan…

View original post 493 more words


One from the archives which is how I’m feeling right now because without my computer, I can’t join in properly with the Christmas spirit! Hey ho. Or should that be “Ho! Ho! Ho!”
Take care and keep laughing!
Sarah x

First Night Design

View original post


Although this engraving by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Charles Pugin is available online in the public domain, mine is actually a scan from an original print published as Plate 69 of Microcosm of London (1810) which my parents had bought from a local antique dealer in the 1960s.

I have not been able to discover what’s being performed but it looks something of a spectacular production what with the horse and carriage, the Boadicea-like figure and gigantic pillars! If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

While the following quote is not from the early 19th century, it describes what Sadler’s Wells had become by the 1840s:

‘Without, the theatre, by night, was like the worst part of the worst kind of Fair in the worst kind of town. Within, it was a bear-garden, resounding with foul language, oaths, catcalls, shrieks, yells, blasphemy, obscenity – a truly diabolical clamour. Fights took place anywhere, at any period of the performance… Sickly children in arms were squeezed out of shape, in all parts of the house. Fish was fried at the entrance doors. Barricades of oyster shells encumbered the pavement. Expectant half-price visitors to the gallery, howled defiant impatience up the stairs, and danced a sort of Carmagnole all round the building.’

A description in Household Words, October 1851, of the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in the 1840s, cited by Claire Tomalin in her book,  The Invisible Woman. Tomalin writes of the theatre as being in a state of ‘Hogarthian brutishness’.

Incidentally, if you haven’t read The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens, it is a riveting read about the actress who became the mistress of Charles Dickens.

There is also a new film version starring Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones: The Invisible Woman [DVD] [2014].

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This is the best film version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale bar none! Alastair Sim [1900–1976] was a sublime actor and farceur. I was lucky enough to see him on stage on several occasions including Peter Pan at the Scala Theatre, where he played Mr Darling and Captain Hook, and the title role in Arthur Wing Pinero’s farce, The Magistrate at the Criterion. Genius.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Writing Credits: Charles Dickens … (adapted from A Christmas Carol)
Noel Langley: (adaptation and screenplay)

Cast (in credits order)

Alastair Sim …Ebenezer Scrooge

Kathleen Harrison …Mrs. Dilber

Mervyn Johns …Bob Cratchit

Hermione Baddeley …Mrs. Cratchit

Michael Hordern …Jacob Marley

George Cole …Young Ebenezer Scrooge

John Charlesworth …Peter Cratchit

Francis De Wolff …Spirit of Christmas Present (as Francis de Wolff)

Rona Anderson …Alice

Carol Marsh …Fan Scrooge

Brian Worth …Fred

Miles Malleson …Old Joe

Ernest Thesiger …The Undertaker

Glyn Dearman …Tiny Tim

Michael Dolan …Spirit of Christmas Past

Olga Edwardes …Fred’s Wife

Roddy Hughes …Fezziwig

Hattie Jacques …Mrs. Fezziwig

Eleanor Summerfield …Miss Flora

Louise Hampton …Laundress

C. Konarski …Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come

Eliot Makeham …Mr. Snedrig

Peter Bull …First Businessman, Narrator

Douglas Muir …Second Businessman

Noel Howlett …First Collector

Fred Johnson …Second Collector

Henry Hewitt …Mr. Rosehed

Hugh Dempster …Mr. Groper

David Hannaford

Maire O’Neill …Alice’s Patient

Richard Pearson …Mr. Tupper

Patrick Macnee …Young Jacob Marley (as Patrick MacNee)

Clifford Mollison …Samuel Wilkins

Jack Warner …Mr. Jorkin

Rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Theresa Derrington …Fred’s Maid

Vi Kaley …Old Lady Sitting By Stove At The Charity Hospital (uncredited)

Tony Wager …Fezziwig’s Lad (uncredited)

Produced by Brian Desmond Hurst

Stanley Haynes … associate producer (uncredited)

Music by Richard Addinsell … (musical score by)

Cinematography by C.M. Pennington-Richards … director of photography

Film Editing by Clive Donner … film editor

Casting By Maude Spector

Art Direction by Ralph W. Brinton

Set Decoration by Freda Pearson … (uncredited)

Costume Design by Doris Lee

Phyllis Dalton … (uncredited)  Makeup Department

Eric Carter … make-up artist

Betty Lee … hair stylist

Aldo Manganaro … assistant makeup artist (uncredited)

June Robinson … assistant hair stylist (uncredited)

Production Management

Stanley Couzins … production manager Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Denis O’Dell … first assistant director

Buddy Booth … third assistant director (uncredited)

Tony Harris … second assistant director (uncredited) Art Department

Chris Chapman … property buyer (uncredited)

T. Hopewell Ash … draughtsman (uncredited)

Ted Marshall … draughtsman (uncredited)

Patricia Neville … sketch artist (uncredited)

Freda Pearson … set dresser (uncredited)

Wallis Smith … construction manager (uncredited) Sound Department

W.H. Lindop … sound recordist

Charles Earl … sound camera operator (uncredited)

Fred Ryan … boom operator (uncredited)

Leonard Trumm … dubbing editor (uncredited) Camera and Electrical Department

Cecil Cooney … camera operator (as C. Cooney)

Richard Cantouris … still photographer (uncredited)

Tom Friswell … clapper loader (uncredited)

Gerry Turpin … focus puller (uncredited) Costume and Wardrobe Department

Constance Da Finna … costume designer: Mr. Sim, Mr. Hordern and Miss Edwardes

Phyllis Dalton … assistant costume designer (uncredited)

W. Walsh … wardrobe master (uncredited) Editorial Department

Anne Barker … assistant editor (uncredited)

Stan Hawkes … second assistant editor (uncredited)

Michael Johns … second assistant editor (uncredited)

Charles Squires … second assistant editor (uncredited) Music Department

Muir Mathieson … conductor Other crew

George Minter … presenter

Larry Edmonds … accountant (uncredited)

Hugh Findlay … publicity director (uncredited)

Elizabeth Montagu … dialogue director (uncredited)

Doris Prince … production secretary (uncredited)

Margaret Ryan … continuity (uncredited)

Jan Saunders … floor runner (uncredited) Thanks

M. Steiner … acknowledgment: mechanical Victorian dolls loaned by (as Mr. M. Steiner)

via A Christmas Carol (1951) – Full Cast & Crew – IMDb.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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