A Christmas Carol production resurrects 150 year old Charles Dickens script

A Christmas Carol 2018 tour- actor John O'Connor
A Christmas Carol 2018 tour- actor John O'Connor

The Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol is being bought to life in Brighton this winter with a production based on a script first written and performed by Dickens himself 150 years ago.

The UK tour of the production stops off at The Old Courtroom in Brighton from December 5 to December 7 with proceeds donated to the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Like Dickens’ own performances in the 19th century, this production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ will focus on a sole performer.

Actor John O’Connor, assuming the role Dickens himself once played, will perform more than 20 different characters, drawing audiences into a rich Victorian ghost story about the power of charity. He will do so on sets inspired by Dickens’ London sitting rooms and designed to evoke the feeling that audiences are listening to the man himself.

Dickens was one of the first writers to publicly perform his own work, and did so in Brighton frequently. He read ‘A Christmas Carol’ in the Brighton Town Hall, The Grand Concert Hall and the Brighton Pavillion at various points throughout his career and visited the city frequently, staying at The Bedford Hotel (now a Holiday Inn) on the seafront.

Talking about the production, John O’Connor said: “In these times of austerity and uncertainty, this beautiful story is as relevant now as it was in 1843. It’s fascinating to see how Dickens communicated it so directly to his audiences in public performances. He made them laugh and cry in equal measure, taking them on a magical journey and imparting the true spirit of Christmas.”

Laura Savoy, head of community fundraising at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “We are delighted that the European Arts Company is raising money through their production of A Christmas Carol to support the valuable work of Great Ormond Street Hospital. Charles Dickens was instrumental in helping support the hospital when it was founded in 1852 and did some early readings of ‘A Christmas Carol’ in aid of GOSH”.

The European Arts Company production of A Christmas Carol will come to The Old Courtoom in Brighton on Thursday December 5, when it will be performed at 7.30pm.

There will also be performances on Friday December 6 and Saturday December 7, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £15, but members and teenagers aged 12-18 get a discount and can buy tickets for £13.50.

Tickets can be purchased on the events line (0300 290902), or online.

For more information about the European Arts Company, visit their website.