FINE ART PORTRAIT CASTING CALL FOR CHARLES DICKENS/VICTORIAN THEMED PHOTOGRAPHS

Casting Call for DICKENSIAN Characters

Please share with any Victorian re-enactment groups, Theatre or Dance schools, Models or anyone else who might be interested. Thanks

I am currently working on a personal project and I am looking for both adults and children to model for me. You will receive a free shoot with 3 digital copies to download in return for your time.

About the Project

Living in Kent, Dickens features heavily in my surroundings, so I am creating a series of fine art portraits based on Dickens’ characters and places in the county.

I am looking for people, who have  or can acquire suitable clothing/costumes to model as the characters for the portraits. The main photoshoot will be in my studio near Maidstone in Kent, but certain characters might be required to do visit a location in addition to this.

I will consider other characters, but I am particularly interested in the following:

CHILDREN:

Oliver Twist: 

Oliver (boy aged 8 to 10)

Artful Dodger (boy age 11 to 13)

Great Expectations:

Young Pip (Boy age 6 to 8)

Young Estella (girl age 10 to 13)

A Christmas Carol:

Tiny Tim (boy aged 5 to 7)

OLDER CHARACTERS:

Oliver Twist:

Fagin

Bill SIkes

Nancy

Great Expectations:

Miss Havisham

Magwitch

A Christmas Carol:

Ebenezer Scrooge

Jacob Marley

The Ghost of Christmas Past

The Ghost of Christmas Present

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

ANIMALS:

Oliver Twist:  Bull’s Eye

Please send a photo and let me know which Dickens character you would like to portray. Thanks

For more examples of my portraiture, please see my portfolio.

DICKENS IN KENT

Kent had an enormous influence on the work of Charles Dickens, where he spent a happy childhood after his father, John, who was a clerk in the Royal Navy Pay Office  was transferred to Chatham in 1817 when Charles was 5 years old.

Dickens’ lived in Kent for 6 years of his childhood, before the family moved to  London.  Some of the young Charles’ happiest times were spent in the county and the Kentish towns and countryside provided the inspiration for some of his characters and settings.

These are just a few of the places that illustrate Dickens’ links with Kent.

Rochester

Rochester is a treasure trove for historians and Dickens’ lovers.

The Guildhall was the place where Pip started his apprenticeship in ‘Great Expectations’. It is now a local history museum and includes many rooms dedicated to the author. 

Restoration House Is the Satis House of Dickens’ “Great Expectations”, the home of Miss Havisham and the adjacent Vines, would have been the route Pip which used when he visited her.

Poor Travellers House & Watts Charity was founded to provide board and lodgings for six poor travellers and continued to do so right up to the Second World War. It was made famous in the Christmas story, ‘The Seven Poor Travellers’, in which Dickens himself  became the seventh traveller and transported a Christmas Eve meal from the Bull Hotel down the High Street to the travellers at the Watts Charity House. 

Gad’s Hill Place was a beautiful house which Charles Dickens’ walked past on his countryside walks with his father. He said he would one day buy it, and later in life he did. He bought the house in 1856 and it was here he wrote Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. He died here, from a stroke, in 1870. 

The Swiss Chalet, which was formerly located within Gad’s Hill Place, is now situated within the grounds of Eastgate House. It was given to Charles as a gift and it arrived at Higham Station packed in 58 boxes. 

Rochester Castle features within Dickens’ ‘The Pickwick Papers’ and ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’.  Dickens’ ghost is said to haunt the castle moat where he wished to be buried. The spot is marked with a plaque commemorating his wish. Dickens’ final resting place is within Westminster Abbey in London. 

Broadstairs

As an adult, Charles Dickens visited Kent many times and he enjoyed long summers Broadstairs. While staying at Fort House, (now known as Bleak House) Dickens’ wrote Nickolas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge and Oliver Twist and during a stay in the nearby Royal Albion Hotel, overlooking Viking Bay, Dickens’ put the final touches to David Copperfield.

The Dickens house Museum was once the home of Miss Mary Pearson Strong, who was the inspiration for Miss Betsey Trotwood from ‘David Copperfield’.

Maidstone

Dickens called the town Muggleton and described it as ‘a corporate town’ in ‘The Pickwick Papers’. A cricket match  takes place between All Muggleton and Dingley Dell in ‘The Pickwick Papers’. In Dickens’ time it was played either on Penenden Heath,or nearby at West Malling, where the first recorded cricket match in Kent was played

Staplehurst

On June 9th 1865, Dickens, was returning from a trip to France, along with his mistress, Ellen Ternan and her mother, when they were involved in a train crash. Aged 53 at the time, Dickens helped the survivors to escape from the wreckage and it is said that the shock of the crash shortened his life, as he died 5 years later.

Canterbury 

The historic city of Canterbury is most closely associated with ‘David Copperfield’.
A young David walks through the town on his long way from London to Dover and he later returns to Canterbury and is sent to the King’s School by his aunt Betsy.

Dickens also had links Deal, Folkestone & Dover as well as several other Kentish towns.

 

SOME CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS BY CHARLES DICKENS:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

The Ghost of Christmas Present appears to Scrooge as “a jolly giant” with dark brown curls. He wears a fur-lined green robe and on his head a holly wreath set with shining icicles. He carries a large torch, made to resemble a cornucopia, and appears accompanied by a great feast.

The Ghost of Christmas Past appears to Scrooge as a white-robed, androgynous figure of indeterminate age. It has on its head a blazing light, reminiscent of a candle flame, and carries a metal cap, made in the shape of a candle extinguisher.

The Ghost of Christmas yet to come appears to Scrooge as a figure entirely muffled in a black hooded cloak, except for a single spectral hand with which it points.

The Ghost of Jacob Marley maintains the same voice, hairstyle and sense of dress that he had in life, but is translucent. He wears a handkerchief tied about his jaws, and “captive, bound and double-ironed” with chains which are described as “long, and wound about him like a tail; it was made… of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel.”

Tiny Tim – “desperately ill and walks with a crutch”

OLIVER TWIST

Artful Dodger (Jack Dawkins)

“His hat was stuck on the top of his head so lightly, He wore a man’s coat, which reached nearly to his heels. He had turned the cuffs back, half-way up his arm, to get his hands out of the sleeves: apparently with the ultimate view of thrusting them into the pockets of his corduroy trousers; for there he kept them.”

Bill Sikes

“A stoutly-built fellow of about five-and-thirty, in a black velveteen coat, very soiled drab breeches, lace-up half boots, and grey cotton stockings which enclosed a bulky pair of legs, with large swelling calves—the kind of legs, which in such costume, always look in an unfinished and incomplete state without a set of fetters to garnish them. He had a brown hat on his head, and a dirty belcher handkerchief round his neck: with the long frayed ends of which he smeared the beer from his face as he spoke. He disclosed, when he had done so, a broad heavy countenance with a beard of three weeks’ growth, and two scowling eyes; one of which displayed various parti-coloured symptoms of having been recently damaged by a blow.”

He owns a dog named Bull’s Eye, whose breed Dickens does not specify, describing him as “a white shaggy dog with his face scratched and torn in twenty places”

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Abel Magwitch: 

“A fearful man, all in coarse gray, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin.”

Miss Havisham

“She was dressed in rich materials — satins, and lace, and silks — all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white.

She had not quite finished dressing, for she had but one shoe on — the other was on the table near her hand — her veil was half arranged, her watch and chain were not put on, and some lace for her bosom lay with those trinkets and with her handkerchief, and gloves, and some flowers, and a prayer-book, all confusedly heaped about the looking-glass.

I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose, had shrunk to skin and bone. Once, I had been taken to see some ghastly wax-work at the Fair, representing I know not what impossible personage lying in state.”

I hope that helps if you are wondering about some of the characters.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Thanks

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