Sunday, March 6, 2016 was a dark day. No, you are not forgetting a natural disaster. You are just not remembering what happened at 8 p.m. CST on PBS.
Let me refresh your memory. It was the premiere airing of the final episode of the television show (phenomenon!) Downton Abbey.
Not exactly a “day of infamy.” But, this meant no more Crawley Family. No more Carson and Mrs. Hughes. No more Anna and Bates. No more Dowager Countess and her rapier sharp quips. A dark day indeed.
Well, in September, that’s all about to change. A movie version of Downton Abbey will be hitting the theaters.
Yes, a MOVIE. Gone are the days of watching Lady Mary stick her nose in the air while you’re eating cucumber tea sandwiches in your underwear. You actually will have to leave the confines of your home behind, making your way to the local cinema for this big screen spectacular.
So, dress in your poshest ensemble, polish your finest shoes, and drive your Rolls Royce to the theater to watch the Crawleys back in action.
Details about the movie have been scant so far. All we know of the plot is that King George V and Queen Mary are coming to Downton for a visit. We know there are a few new characters joining the cast, including one played by Imelda Staunton (Mr. Carson’s real-life wife!) who vistis Downton as part of the royal brigade.
Pretty much regardless of plot, I will be there. I’ve missed these Lords and Ladies and butlers and maids. I’ve missed the soap opera-esque plot twists and turns and the steady level of romantic intrigue. For five years (from its Season 1 inauguration in January 2011 to that dark day in 2016), these characters were companions, both friend and foe. And you can bet that I will be there to welcome their (theatrical!) return.
In honor of Downton’s resurrection, Niles-Maine is pulling out all the stops! Throughout August and September, we’re featuring programming that is sure to get you in the right frame of mind for the return of the Crawleys, including our very own DOWNTON DAY on September 19.
Monday, August 12, 7 p.m. All Things British
Do you know the difference between Great Britain, The United Kingdom and The British Isles? Ever wonder why the Queen “reigns” but doesn’t “rule”? These questions will be answered in a fun and informative way, along with any questions that you may have, by John Gowing, a current Blue Badge Tour Guide from London now living in Illinois.
Monday, August 26, 7 p.m. Below Stairs – A Story that Inspired Downton Abbey
Margaret Powell is the kitchen maid and cook whose memoir was a key inspiration for the TV programs Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs.
Sunday, September 15, 2 p.m. Costumes of Downton Abbey: a Slide Lecture
Art historian Jeff Mishur discusses clothes used in the popular PBS series, both period original and imitation vintage. Costumes are placed into a historic context, relating to the narrative of the series.
Monday, September 16, 7 p.m. Art in the Era of Downton Abbey
The success of series Downton Abbey has inspired renewed interest in the early 20th century art movements. Join Jeffrey Nigro, art historian, lecturer and educator, as he speaks about Edwardian arts both in Britain and on the European continent.
Thursday, September 19, 1-5 p.m. Downton Abbey Day
Drop in throughout the afternoon for tea, trivia, episodes from season 1 and documentaries about the show.
Monday, September 23, 7 p.m. Downton Abbey Tea Time Foods
Spend the evening getting in the Downton Abbey mood with Chef Susan Maddox. Attendees will learn how to make two great finger foods as well as two “sweets” for your next Downton tea party.
Sunday, September 29, 2 p.m. Music of Downton Abbey with The Marion Consort
Celebrate the movie release of Downton Abbey with music from The Marion Consort, Chicago’s premier choral ensemble for early music, as they present music from and inspired by the Edwardian series.