Brighton Dome confirms Christmas programme

Brighton Dome is offering a series of seasonal events including storytelling, carols, talks and a classic Dickens tale.

Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 8:00 am
Joanna MacGregor

In line with government regulations, Brighton Dome is able to offer live socially-distanced performances to household and bubble groups in its Concert Hall. The venue has received the ‘Good to Go’ mark with enhanced safety measures in place throughout the building to ensure audiences can safely enjoy some seasonal entertainment after being closed for most of the year.

On Saturday December 12, a brand-new production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, will be narrated by the stage and screen actor Dame Harriet Walter (RSC, The Crown, Killing Eve, Succession) accompanied by festive music from Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra. Abridged by theatre director Richard Williams, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future is supported by musical arrangements from award-winning pianist and BPO music director Joanna MacGregor with a brass quintet performing classic carols I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In, Coventry Carol, and Ding Dong Merrily on High.

Director Richard Williams said: “A Christmas Carol is among my favourite books and for this version I have two roles. As the adapter for this concert version I have edited the script to allow for the wonderful musical interludes chosen for the BPO brass quintet – spicey arrangements of well-known carols – while keeping the familiar and well-loved characters and story.

“I have adapted other Dickens novels for the stage and they transform very easily because Dickens himself had a keen sense of the dramatic and a powerful instinct for great storytelling.

“I’m also directing the production which means liaising with the production staff at Brighton Dome for the technical aspects, such as lighting, and working with two amazingly talented people – Joanna MacGregor, the musical director of the BPO and our reader, the actor Harriet Walter – to ensure all the elements combine, to create an atmospheric and celebratory Christmas event!”

Also coming up, Brighton Dome will be spreading Christmas cheer at home in partnership with Fane’s livestream author talks.

Dome spokeswoman Katie Fowler said: “On Friday December 11, you can spend a powerful and moving evening in the company of two of the UK’s great contemporary writers, Benjamin Zephaniah and Alex Wheatle, as they explore how they use their writing to bring vital parts of British and Jamaican history to life and reflect the authentic, unsung stories of our past.

“Comedy actress Dawn French joins presenter Liza Tarbuck on Sunday, December 13 for what is sure to be a heart-warming and hilarious conversation about French’s wise and poignant new book Because of You.

“War Horse author and much-loved children’s writer Michael Morpurgo brings an afternoon of Christmas storytelling on Sunday, December 20. Cosy up at home as he reads from some of his favourite books: there’ll be adventures on the high seas alongside the excitement of landing the starring role in the Christmas play.”

Then comes Brighton Festival Chorus, with music from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Wednesday, December 23. They are aiming to get all of Sussex singing with a joyful online concert livestreamed from Brighton Dome Concert Hall, featuring performances by mezzo soprano Juliette Pochin, the chorus and youth choir and two community virtual choirs with a mixture of carols, festive jokes and glorious Christmas music.

Ticket on brightondome.org or 01273 709709

A Night In with Alex Wheatle and Benjamin Zephaniah (livestream); Friday, December 11, 6.30pm. £10/£23 including copies of Cane Warriors and Windrush Child

A Christmas Carol with Harriet Walter and Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra; Saturday, Dec 12, 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets from £15-20 in household or bubble groups of three or four as cabaret tables, rear stalls and circle seats. Family ticket offers for groups of three and four with under 18s.

A Night in with Dawn French (livestream), Sunday, Dec 13, 6.30pm. £10/£25 including a copy of Because of You

Christmas Storytelling with Michael Morpurgo (livestream), Sunday, Dec 20, 3pm. £10/£20 including a copy of Boy Giant / £45 book bundle

Sussex Sings Christmas livestream from Brighton Dome, Wednesday, Dec 23, 6pm. £10. Book at bfc.org.uk/sussexsingschristmas