Dickens film at Rochester Cathedral
Rochester Cathedral is the venue for a special screening of the classic 1946 black and white film Great Expectations on 11 February
WHAT THE DICKENS? ROCHESTER
CATHEDRAL HOSTS FIM CLASSIC AND PREMIERE
Rochester Cathedral is the venue for a special screening of the classic 1946 black and white film Great Expectations.
The event sponsored by Southern Water and Visit Kent marks the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’ birth and will raise money for the cathedral that featured in many of his novels.
Many of the guests will be dressed in Dickensian costume including the Mayor and Mayoress of Medway Cllr Ted Baker and Mrs Sylvia Baker.
Canon Dr Philip Hesketh, Acting Dean of Rochester, said: “We are delighted to host this special screening of David Lean’s classic adaptation of Great Expectations and extend a warm thanks to Southern Water and Visit Kent for making the evening possible. Dickens, of course, had a long association with Rochester and a love of the cathedral, wishing to be buried within its hallowed confines, until popular acclaim whisked him away to Westminster Abbey. I am sure that he would be delighted to know that he is inadvertently helping this beloved cathedral remain open for future generations.”
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David Lean’s 1946 black and white film has been called: “one of the finest British literary adaptations”. It brings to the big screen some of Dickens’s most memorable characters including Pip, Miss Haversham and Magwitch.
Darren Bentham. Director of Metering for Southern Water said: “I can’t think of a better setting to celebrate Charles Dickens and the Cathedral’s place at the heart of the Medway Towns. Southern Water is keen to support the people and places that are important to our customers and give something back to the communities that we serve.
“We have been working in Rochester and Strood installing meters as part of our five year programme since late 2010. Approximately 40,000 new water meters have been installed for customers across the Medway area helping to save water, energy and money.”
The evening also marks the premiere of Magwitch. This short film depicting the early life of one of Dickens’ best loved characters is the first production by Viola Films. It features local actors and landscapes.
Director Sam Supple said :” Magwitch has been a true labour of love for me and a real discovery of Dickens the man and the writer, who has inspired me so much. He was truly a man ahead of his time and the concerns and issues he addressed in his work are still relevant today”.
This special evening will be hosted by Geoff Clark from BBC Radio Kent and his former on screen partner Beverley Thompson now with Southern Water.
The Great Expectations screening is on Saturday 11 February at 6pm. Tickets are available from firstname.lastname@example.org Tickets cost �15 with proceeds going to the Cathedral Restoration Fund.
English cathedrals are a vital part of our national heritage and yet, unlike most European cathedrals there is no state funding. Alongside playing an essential role in the nation’s spiritual life it is also recognised that cathedrals play an important part in the nation’s economy with 12 million people annually visiting an English cathedral. During the Christmas Dickens Weekend in 2011 we counted nearly twenty thousand people through the west doors of Rochester Cathedral in just two days.
At Rochester we are committed to remaining open free of charge so that this sacred place can be enjoyed by all; this remains a constant challenge. It costs �2,500 per day to keep the cathedral running. In recent years we have been successful in obtaining Heritage Lottery Funding which has enabled us to improve the experience of visitors and pilgrims, but with such an ancient building, the second oldest in the country, funding for more mundane projects is more difficult, yet equally vital.