Last year I mentioned that a play about the writing of The Life of Our Lord was in development. The other day, Gary Colledge, who's serving as consultant, wrote to give me an update on the project.
The title of the play is To Begin With. It's being written by Jeffrey Hatcher and produced by Dennis Babcock. And Gerald Dickens, who has spent so much time portraying his ancestor in one-man shows and who participated in several staged readings of this play in London, will star in the U.S. production. They hope to open in Minneapolis, "perhaps as early as February 2015."
Below is a short synopsis from a draft of a brochure that Gary sent:
At long last, the film Mr. Pip has an American distributor! BroadwayWorld reports that the Hugh Laurie film, about a schoolteacher who inspires children with Great Expectations, has been picked up by Freestyle and Dominion Pictures, and that "the film will debut in limited theaters and on all digital platforms on November 7, 2014."
Some time ago, I mentioned that Sarah Rees Brennan was working on a Young Adult novel that would be a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities. Here's an update from Brennan on that project in USA Today:
"I'm editing Tell the Wind and Fire, which will come out next year ... a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, set in New York, in which our heroine, Lucie, is part of a class who rule through the magic in their jeweled rings, and the two men she meets look exactly the same because one is a doppelganger of the other ... a being created by dark magic, whose face means death for his original to look upon."
Tony Jordan spoke at the London Screenwriters' Festival and gave new details about his upcoming show for BBC One, Dickensian. He said, "We’re building 40,000 square feet of Dickensian London in a warehouse, with smoke and fire and horses." He also said that we'll see Little Nell in the first episode, and hinted that he might have a different fate for her than Dickens did! The Times has the story (subscriber-only).
In her article "The 10 Best Ghost Stories" for Publishers Weekly, novelist Lauren Oliver makes an interesting point about A Christmas Carol (which she ranks ninth): "This seminal and beloved novel proves that visitors from the other side don’t merely come to torment and harangue--sometimes, they come to torment, harangue, and help."
The new website The Pigeonhole is serializing Great Expectations in weekly installments. A subscription is free (they'll send you a link to download their reading app), and there will be bonus material on the site every week (essays, Q&As, and so forth). At the end, subscribers will be asked for donations, half of which will go to the Dickens Museum. Go here to find out more and to sign up!