A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
“A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens” – simply to say, this simple phrase brings a smile to most people’s face and why not? It might be the best short story ever written, or the best loved, or the best known or the most enjoyable, it certainly has to be performed, as Dickens himself knew. It’s December and we must have our pudding, our parsnips and our Christmas Carol. The story actually created our modern idea of Christmas, it influences Christmas, it is part of Christmas and it reminds us that there is more to Christmas than a shopping and eating festival.
If “A Christmas Carol” is the most popular story ever told, then this stage version is possibly the most successful recent adaptation. From Tokyo to Malta, from Munich to Hong Kong, from Liverpool to Prague, audiences have thrilled to this musical production that moves the audience from tears to laughter. This production is true music theatre – not just a seasonal entertainment but a real gripping and dramatic tale. A performance for young and old, a Christmas feast of theatre that has delighted audiences in almost every corner of the globe.
The story is enormous fun but it is also surprisingly serious. We take you down the alleys that Dickens travelled, through a London that defined modern life because it was the first megalopolis, an urban nightmare where the very air was unfit to breath. The wealthiest city in the world was the city with the poorest in the world. This was a contrast that Dickens dedicated much of his life and work to exposing.
Today the truly poor have been banished to the Third World, London and its like are more comfortable places in which to live but we would do well to remember the message of A CHRISTMAS CAROL: that the Christmas Spirit is joyful because it shares its joy and its feast with others, especially the poor. The play is for them and for you. Happy Christmas!