The countdown is on to the live broadcast of Great Expectations at the Vaudeville Theatre to over 600 cinemas on Thursday (7 February) to mark Charles Dickens' birthday.

The broadcast, which marks the first time a commercial West End production has been broadcast to cinemas, is being organised to celebrate the launch of new charity The Dickens Legacy.

The gala performance on Thursday is expected to be attended by guests including Hugh Grant, Rosumund Pike, Mark Gatiss, Terry Gilliam and Simon Callow.

The production stars Jack Ellis (Coronation Street, Where the Heart Is, Bad Girls) as Jaggers, Chris Ellison (The Bill) as Magwitch, and Paul Nivison as Adult Pip, with Paula Wilcox (Emmerdale, The Smoking Room, Man About the House) as Miss Havisham.

Great Expectations has been adapted for the stage by Scottish playwright Jo Clifford and is directed and co-designed by Graham McLaren, an associate director for the National Theatre of Scotland.

It's co-designed by Robin Peoples, with lighting by Kai Fischer, original music by Simon Slater and sound by Matt McKenzie. Giovanni Bedin for House of Worth has created the couture elements of the show, including Miss Havisham’s wedding dress.

The Dickens Legacy has been launched alongside the stage show to receive a royalty share of box office. Set up by the producer with Lucinda Dickens Hawksley (great, great, great grand-daughter of Charles Dickens), it will distribute funds to concerns dealing with issues Dickens was passionate about, such as prison reform, adoption and literacy.

The Dickens Legacy is also sponsoring Tuesday evening performances, when, for every full price adult ticket, a child under 16 goes free (subject to availability).

Click here for further information about the screening on 7 February