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The House of Illustration Christmas Party 2018

A few highlights from our Christmas Party, which featured festive readings by Joanna Lumley, David Walliams and Jane Asher and live illustration by Gerald Scarfe, Axel Scheffler, Posy Simmonds and Chris Riddell...


  • Becky Brewis
  • Highlights

Our huge thanks to all the illustrators and readers who made the House of Illustration Christmas Party so special. Here are some of the works from the night as our wonderful illustrators turned their hands to scenes from The Nutcracker – and drew them live!

"Very carefully her father took Nutcracker and lifted his wooden cloak, whereupon the little man opened his mouth wide to reveal two rows of sharp white teeth. At her father’s bidding Marie popped a nut into the little man’s mouth, and – crack – the shell fell away, and she caught the sweet kernel in her hand."

Below: Chris Riddell llustrates as David Walliams reads.

"'We are in Christmas Wood,’ said Nutcracker. ‘Oh, if I could but linger here a while,’ cried Marie. ‘It is too, too charming!’ Nutcracker clapped his hands, and some little shepherds and shepherdesses, and hunters and huntresses approached, who were so delicate and white that they seemed made of pure sugar. They brought a dainty armchair, all of gold, and invited Marie  to sit down. She did so, and immediately  the shepherds and shepherdesses danced a very pretty ballet, while the hunters blew their horns, and then all disappeared again into the bushes. They now walked along by a sift, rustling brook, out of which the scent of oranges seemed to arise and fill the whole wood."

Above: A certain character makes a surprise appearance in the Christmas classic, illustrated live by Axel Scheffler.

"Close before her feet there burst out of the floorboards seven mouse heads, and each head was adorned with a glittering crown. Then arose the one mouse body to which these seven heads belonged, and great Mouse King advanced to meet his army with an almighty squeak. Ai once the rank and file began to march forward, straight towards the glass case, and poor Marie who stood before it!."

Gerald Scarfe draws the Mouse King with ink (above) at our Christmas event at Islington Assembly Hall as Jane Asher reads (below).