Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dickens theme park

Satire died, according to Tom Lehrer, the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This is probably so, as the opening of the world's first Charles Dickens theme park at the end of this month could only happen in a post-satire world. That's right, dear reader, the author of Great Expectations and Bleak House now has his own theme park - Dickens World - in Kent, England. Cobbled streets, gas lamps, costumed actors and quaint Victorian shops have been combined with water rides, a children's play area called Fagin's Den, a 'Dickensian' shopping mall and a 'haunted' Scrooge's house to produce what the venue's website describes as 'A New Themed Entertainment Visitor Attraction Based Upon the Life, Times, Books and Characters of Charles Dickens, Our Most Famous and Enduring Author'. There's no mention of whether this $150 million monstrosity will have something as quaint and old-fashioned as Dickens' novels for sale. Will Australia be next? Bryce World can only be a developer's long lunch away from conception.

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