But we don’t often have the chance to celebrate Charles with toys. Happily, this weekend, you can see a rare toy theatre production of Great Expectations at the lovely Artworkers Guild in Bloomsbury. Produced by Peter Baldwin and Mary Pegler, the show is performed on the Beckman Unicorn Toy Theatre. (Dickens is said to have been a fan of the genre.) There are two shows; tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for children, which includes refreshments and, intriguingly, a pair of opera glasses.
If you’re impressed with what you see, you can then buy your own version of the Beckman Unicorn Great Expectations Toy Theatre from Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop. When Baldwin was 12, he was given a Pollock’s Toy Theatre; and his love of the craft has continued ever since. In fact, he now owns the shop that takes its name from the legendary Mr Pollock.