THE annual Dickensian Festival returns to Malton next month with an exclusive screening of one of this year’s Christmas blockbusters.

Actress Miriam Margolyes will join Lucinda Hawksley, the great, great, great granddaughter of Charles Dickens, in a question and answer session after a screening of The Man Who Invented Christmas, in which Miriam plays the role of Mrs Fisk.

The movie tells the journey that led to Dickens’ creation of A Christmas Carol; and stars Christopher Plummer as Scrooge, Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens, and a cast including Jonathan Pryce. The screening takes place on December 16, at 4.40pm, at The Palace Cinema in Malton.

As part of the Dickensian Festival, children will perform festive songs at a Big Sing at the Milton Rooms, in Malton, on December 8, while on December 9, there will by street theatre in the town centre, along with carriage rides.

On December 10, there will be a lunchtime performance at the Milton Rooms by the Hardcastle Mighty Excelsior Theatre Company of A Christmas Carol. The Scrooge Counting House Museum in Malton will be open every Saturday in December, from 10am to 1pm, with a performance of A Christmas Carol in Scrooge’s office at 2pm and 3pm on Saturday, December 9.

The festival is organised by Clair Challenor-Chadwick, managing director of Cause UK, who established the Malton Dickensian Festival as an arts and education charity, with patron Selina Scott and the late Stephen Joll and others, in 2015.

Clair said: “The festival is part of our overall work to reclaim Yorkshire’s literary heritage and celebrate the remarkable connection Dickens had to Malton.

“It’s put together on a volunteer-basis by me, and kindly supported by Miriam, Lucinda and the volunteers at the Counting House in Malton, so we really hope people come out and support it, and get involved in some truly Christmas spirit and festivities.”

The festival concludes on Sunday, December 17, as Miriam Margolyes and Lucinda Hawksley explore what it would have been like to take part in a real Dickensian Christmas. Tickets £25 to include lunch, wine and coffee at the Talbot Hotel, Malton.

For details, go to