Events for book-lovers this Christmas

The Christmas holidays are a time when many of us find ourselves at a loss for things to do - except perhaps to stay at home and finish off the holiday turkey! Thankfully there are a plenty of seasonal entertainments available – and below we’ve chosen a selection the ones that have caught our eye.

Theatre: For children, the ever popular Christmas Pantomime dominates theatres across the UK. Based on the classic stories of Hans Anderson, the Brothers Grimm and Perrault, but infused with bizarre traditions and outrageous humour that often makes the tales themselves unrecognisable! Click here for a list of this year's most popular.

Across the Atlantic Christmas theatre is no less festive with adaptations of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol in almost every major city in North America. In New York the story has been updated with music and an Indo-Pakistani immigrant setting in Bumbug: The Musical. In Abilene, Texas the story has been moved to the dust-bowl era told with folk music. Meanwhile in Toronto, Canada the Soulpepper theatre company has created a beautiful production in its traditional Victorian setting.

Exhibitions: For children, London's Museum of Childhood has numerous Christmas events allowing children to see how families celebrated Christmas a hundred years ago, as well as regular readings of traditional fairy tales from Grimm and Anderson. And for those in search of a fascinating day out, why not visit Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight. Queen Victoria’s favourite English home has been decked with extravagant Victoriana Christmas decorations to show how the house may have looked when she celebrated there.

Film: In time for the Christmas season a slew of film adaptations of classic books have hit cinemas across the world. The first of Peter Jackson’s somewhat embellished three-part adaptation of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey premiered in New Zealand on 28 November. The big budget adventure about a Hobbit’s quest for treasure and excitement promises to be one of the great film events of the year. Mike Newell’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, starring Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, is a must for all Dickens fans. And for anyone in need of a classic piece of cinema history, why not hunt down one of the touring viewings of Lawrence of Arabia. Prints of this epic film, based on The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence are touring the world to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its release. With its beautiful cinematography and gripping story, it is a film meant to be seen on the big screen.

last modified: Thu, Jan 3rd 2013Bookmark and Share
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