European Arts Company are returning to Greenwich Theatre with their authentic adaptation of A Christmas Carol, starring John O’Connor (Before We Die, Channel 4).
Charles Dickens visited Greenwich throughout his life – enjoying Greenwich Fair, frequenting the Trafalgar Tavern and visiting his parents when they moved to Blackheath. He also gave some public readings at Greenwich Literary Institution in 1866. From Bleak House to Sketches by Boz, Dombey and Son to Our Mutual Friend, Dickens had a soft spot for Greenwich – frequently featuring the area in his stories, and so it’s particularly fitting that this acclaimed production comes to Greenwich Theatre this Christmas.
Few people know that Charles Dickens originally wanted to be an actor and A Christmas Carol was the first public performance he gave of his own work. After his opening night he said The success was most wonderful and prodigious – perfectly overwhelming and astounding altogether! Dickens enacted the work over 150 times and the effect on the public was phenomenal; he had a magnetic stage presence, riveting eyes, expressive voice and wonderful powers of characterisation. Remarkably, Dickens made more money from his readings than all his novels and stories put together.
This exciting production, adapted from Dickens’s own public reading scripts and eyewitness accounts of him on stage, recreates the spirit of his original performances. O’Connor says, I’m delighted to be coming back to Greenwich with A Christmas Carol. Dickens himself toured all over the UK and America performing the story and it’s wonderful to follow in his legendary footsteps. The show was a sell-out success when we last performed at Greenwich Theatre in 2019 and the audience reaction was delightful. There will be laughs, tears and plenty of Christmas cheer.
A Christmas Carol was directed by the distinguished director, actor, teacher (and Greenwich resident) Peter Craze, who sadly died a year ago. This was the last show he directed and the production is dedicated to his memory.
The production will be in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital, which Dickens helped to found. This Christmas, you can experience what it must have been like to be in the audience in the 1860s. Enjoy a seasonal treat in the spirit of Christmas past, present and future.
A Christmas Carol runs at the Greenwich Theatre on 6 and 13 December. Tickets are available from www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk
Photo credit: Dik Ng