Students offered chance to take part in Norwich gala celebrating Charles Dickens

English and drama teachers are being encouraged to get their students involved in a special gala show celebrating the life of one of the country's greatest writers.

The Dickens East Anglian Regional Gala is due to be held in Norwich in March to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. It is the idea of Peter Mieville, who lives near Diss, and he hopes as many people as possible will join in with celebrating the life of the man who penned literary classics such as Oliver Twist, Bleak House and Great Expectations.

Mr Mieville said he hoped the gala would include drama, dance, music and visual art, and that at the moment he was looking for high school groups who would be interested in choosing a scene from a Dickens novel and adapting it for the stage.

He said: 'This is a tremendous opportunity to participate in a regional celebration of Charles Dickens and to offer students the chance to perform the work of Charles Dickens in their own ways. It will be like a mini-variety show. 'We want groups to come up with performances inspired by Dickens in some way, for example it might be a piece of music inspired by David Copperfield or Oliver Twist, or it might be a dance inspired one of Dickens' novels.

'It will be a mixture of what people choose to do. It will be celebratory and varied - a mixture of all types of performance from the serious to the light-hearted to the comical because Dickens' novels are all these things.

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'Dickens is such an incredibly important figure nationally and internationally and he is more relevant to today than many people may think. The gala is a chance to take part in celebrating the 200th anniversary of his birth.'

Alongside the gala, Mr Mieville, who writes under the name Dominic Mieville, is also running the Dickens International Drama Challenge - a competition for schools which aims to have local, regional, national and international rounds.

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• Teachers interested in their classes taking part in the gala should contact Mr Mieville by the end of October by emailing

Mr Mieville is also looking for sponsors for the project.

• Are you involved in a project celebrating a famous figure? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email

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