Girls dance for Charles Dickens’ birthday

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TWO girls are set to perform for Charles Dickens’ family at a dinner in London to celebrate his bicentenary on February 7.

Lizzie Bollada, 16 from Caddington and Nadine Turk, 18 from Luton, will be dancing as part of musical theatre group West End Kids.

They will entertain the Mansion House dinner guests with a special programme of Dickensian song and dance.

Manshead Upper School student Lizzie said: “I’m so excited about this performance. It would be a huge privilege just to perform in the Egyptian Room at Mansion House, but to know that members of Dickens’ family and the Lord Mayor of London will be watching us too is truly amazing.”

The evening will be hosted by the Hon. Lord Mayor of the City of London, David Wootton and guests will include Mark Dickens, Charles Dickens’ great great grandson, Matthew Dent, the designer of a £2 coin being issued by The Royal Mint to commemorate the bicentenary and actor Sir Patrick Stewart, who will read from A Christmas Carol.

Nadine, a student at Luton’s Sixth Form College, said: “We are all working really hard at the moment to make sure we give them our best performance. I can’t believe we’re performing at Charles Dickens’s 200th Birthday Party!”

Proceeds of this event will be donated to Great Expectations, the Charles Dickens Museum’s £3.1m redevelopment project. The Museum, which houses the world’s most important collection of Dickens material, is the only surviving London home of Dickens.

Dickens resided at Doughty Street from March 1837 to December 1839 and during that time he wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby.