Scrooge, Tiny Tim, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, a suspiciously large last-turkey-in-the-shop. There’s probably no work of literature that has captured the idea of Christmas quite as comprehensively as Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. The 1843 novella established its author not just as his nation’s favourite writer, but as ‘the Father of Christmas’. It’s also been the inspiration for a host of adaptations, from the sublime (‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’, ‘Scrooged’) to the ridiculous (the BBC’s unbelievably crappy 2019 version).
Now there’s a very special version happening in the dark winter that ends this darkest of years. Actor Dominic Gerrard will perform an adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ filmed inside Dickens’s own house at 48 Doughty Street in Bloomsbury. The author wrote many of his celebrated early works in the house and it’s a suitable spooky and atmospheric setting for this tale of one man’s struggle to overcome his own selfishness and think of others for a change, something that suddenly seems a lot more relatable. Many parts of the house will be used, with the famous ghostly visitations happening in Dickens’s very bedroom.
Gerrard will be accompanied by puppetry from Mandarava and a specially created soundscape, with Alexis Bennett on violin. This version has been performed to live audiences in the house before, but this is the first time it will be available on streaming. So it looks like a great chance to draw the curtains, pour a glass of something and settle down for some festive chills.
Spoiler alert: ‘Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.’
The performances of ‘A Christmas Carol’ will be aired on Dec 17, 20 and 31, with each followed by a live Q&A on Zoom. Tickets and all details at dickensmuseum.com.
Feeling all Christmassy yet? How about a nice Christmas market?